Bib or Pouting (Trisopterus luscus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



A distinctive fish with a relatively deep body, deep coppery colour with 3 or 4 vertical pale bands and a long chin barbel. Adults are between 20-30 cm long, sometimes reaching a maximum of 45 cm in length. Trisopterus luscus has three dorsal fins set close together, the first dorsal fin being characteristically pointed when in an upright position. There are also 2 anal fins, the first has its origin under the middle of the first dorsal fin. At the base of the pectoral fin is a black mark, approximately the size of the eye. The pelvic fins are long and flexible. The upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw. Older, adult individuals may be completely dark brown, having lost their banding.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common around Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution



Found inshore and in coastal waters down to 300 m, Trisopterus luscus favour mixed rock and sand habitats. They are also often encountered in and around wrecks.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Deep coppery colour with 3 or 4 vertical pale bands.
  • Long chin barbel.
  • Three dorsal fins and 2 anal fins.
  • First dorsal fin sharply pointed.
  • Relatively deep body.
  • Black mark at base of pectoral fin.
  • Often between 20-30 cm long.

Additional information

Trisopterus luscus may be confused with Trisopterus minutus (poor cod). However, Trisopterus minutus can be distinguished by its plain colour and narrower body. The haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus is another similar looking species as it also has a pointed first dorsal fin, however it is differently coloured and has a shorter chin barbel.

Listed by

- none -


  1. Dipper, F., 2001. British sea fishes (2nd edn). Teddington: Underwater World Publications Ltd.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. Muus, B.J. & Dahlstrom, P., 1974. Collins guide to the sea fishes of Britain and North-Western Europe. Wm Collins Sons & Co. Ltd: London.

  5. Wheeler, A., 1969. The fishes of the British Isles and north-west Europe. London: Macmillan.


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2018-09-25.

  2. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-38

  3. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset Accessed via on 2018-10-01

  4. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Records. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-27.

  5. Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre, 2017. Fish: Records for Kent.. Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2018-09-27.

  6. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  7. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  8. Merseyside BioBank., 2018. Merseyside BioBank (unverified). Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  9. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  10. Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, 2017. NBIS Records to December 2016. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  11. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-06-23

  12. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Fish (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02.

  13. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. Dr Mary Gillham Archive Project. Occurance dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02

  14. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service., 2017. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service (SBIS) Dataset. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Ballerstedt, S. 2008. Trisopterus luscus Bib or Pouting. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 23-06-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 02/09/2008