Black cod

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Black cod is also used to refer to the related Paranotothenia magellanica (Maori cod, Magellanic rockcod) and to the unrelated Anoplopoma fimbria (sablefish) and Epinephelus daemelii.
Black cod
Drawing by Dr Tony Ayling
Conservation status
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Nototheniidae
Genus: Notothenia
Species: N. microlepidota
Binomial name
Notothenia microlepidota
F. W. Hutton, 1875
  • Paranotothenia microlepidota (F. W. Hutton, 1875)

The black cod or smallscaled cod, Notothenia microlepidota, is a species of cod icefish native to the Pacific waters around New Zealand and Macquarie Island. This species can reach a length of 70 centimetres (28 in) TL. It is a commercially important species.[1]

The juveniles are silvery in appearance with a pronounced tail fork. The adult has a less pronounced fork in the tail, with body colors of silver, yellow and reddish-brown. The scales are very small, and there are two lateral lines which have a considerable overlap.

Being a sub-Antarctic species, the black cod has special adaptations such as antifreeze proteins in its blood, as well as adipose tissues to offset its lack of swim bladders, giving it neutral buoyancy. Sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria, is occasionally called black cod as well, but it is not a true cod. In New Zealand, Maori Cod is also known as "black cod".


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Notothenia microlepidota" in FishBase. February 2014 version.
  • Tony Ayling & Geoffrey Cox, Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand, (William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1982) ISBN 0-00-216987-8