Arctogadus glacialis

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"Arctic cod" redirects here. For the related species which shares its common names, see Boreogadus saida.
Arctogadus glacialis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gadiformes
Family: Gadidae
Genus: Arctogadus
Dryagin, 1932
Species: A. glacialis
Binomial name
Arctogadus glacialis
(W. K. H. Peters, 1872)

Arctogadus borisovi Dryagin, 1932
Gadus glacialis W. K. H. Peters, 1872
Phocaegadus megalops Jensen, 1948

Arctogadus glacialis, known also with ambiguous common names Arctic cod[1][2] and polar cod,[1][3] is an Arctic species of fish in the cod family Gadidae, related to the true cod (genus Gadus). Arctogadus glacialis is found in icy water and often not seen in warm water. They grow to 30 cm long,and are favorite food of narwhals and other arctic whales.

Common names and taxonomy[edit]

The common "Arctic cod" and "polar cod" can refer to either Arctogadus glacialis or Boreogadus saida, and "Arctic cod" may also refer to Eleginus nawaga.[4]

Another Arctic gadid, the East Siberian cod (Arctogadus borisovi), was until recently considered the closest relative of A. glacialis. It has, however, been found not to be distinct from A. glacialis, and should be included in this species. According to this result, Arctogadus is a monotypic genus. However, Arctogadus is a close relative of Boreogadus, and should perhaps be included in that genus.[5]


Arctic cod is silvery in appearance and can grow up to 32.5 cm (12.8 in) in total length. It lacks the chin barbels of other cod species (or this barbel is small).


The Arctic cod is widely distributed in the western part of the Arctic basin and the northwest and northeast coasts of Greenland. Its range is between 85° and 72°N latitude. Arctic cod can be found at depths of up to 1000 m, and frequently under ice.

Fish earlier attributed to the East Siberian cod are found off the western half of the Canadian coast and the coasts of Siberia and also off northern and southern coasts of Greenland. The fish lives close to the sea floor at depths of 15 to 40 m, but it sometimes enters estuaries, and may also be found under pack ice.

The species is of minor commercial value.


A. glacialis in an ice-free area off northeastern Greenland were found to feed almost exclusively on pelagic prey (primarily copepods, amphipods, and mysids).[6]


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Arctogadus glacialis" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  2. ^ Gadiform fishes of the World (Order Gadiformes) An annotated and illustrated catalogue of Cods, Hakes, Grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Volume 10. 1990.
  3. ^ Polar Cod University of Guelph.
  4. ^ Froese, R. and D. Pauly., eds. (2013). "FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (10/2013)". Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Jordan, AD; Møller, PR; Nielsen, JG (2003). "Revision of the Arctic cod genus Arctogadus". Journal of Fish Biology 62: 1339–1352. doi:10.1007/s00300-001-0348-5. CiteSeerX: 
  6. ^ Süfke, Lis; Piepenburg, Dieter; von Dorrien, Christian F. (1998). "Body size, sex ratio and diet composition of Arctogadus glacialis (Peters, 1874) (Pisces: Gadidae) in the Northeast Water Polynya (Greenland)". Polar Biology 20: 357–363. doi:10.1007/s003000050314.