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Lycodes turneri
Lycodes vahlii.jpg
Lycodes vahlii
Scientific classification

Lycodes is a genus of zoarcid fish in the subfamily Lycodinae.[1][2] It is the most species-rich genus in its taxonomic family as well as in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent waters. They occupy both shallow waters and deeper waters down to 3000 meters. A few species can occur in brackish waters.[3]


The genus is characterized by one autapomorphy: submental crests, the more or less pronounced cartilage extensions on the lower jaws. Within the genus, one clade has been identified, the "short-tailed" Lycodes that are associated with shallower depths (0–1200 m) than the long-tailed species (3–3000 m). Short tail might represent an adaptation to shallow, Arctic waters; the clade includes many Arctic endemics. In contrast, the long-tailed species do not form a monophyletic group. Coloration of all short-tailed Lycodes includes some sorts of stripes, marks, or reticulations, while the long-tailed species are uniformly brownish, striped, or spotted.[3]


Lycodes are bottom-dwelling fish with a relatively stationary life style. The eggs are benthic, few in number (<2000) and large in size (as large as 10 mm (0.4 in)).[3]


Saddled eelpout

Currently, 64 species are placed in this genus:[2]


  1. ^ a b Eschmeyer, W. N.; R. Fricke & R. van der Laan (eds.). "Lycodes species". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2018). Species of Lycodes in FishBase. June 2018 version.
  3. ^ a b c Møller, Peter R. & Gravlund, Peter (2003). "Phylogeny of the eelpout genus Lycodes (Pisces, Zoarcidae) as inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome b and 12S rDNA". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 26 (3): 369–388. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00362-7.
  4. ^ Saveliev, Pavel A.; Balanov, Andrey A. & Kukhlevskii, Andrey D. (2014). "On the colour types in Lycodes nakamurae (Tanaka, 1914) and species composition of the subgenus Furcimanus (Perciformes: Zoarcidae: Lycodes) in the Sea of Japan". Zootaxa. 3811: 119–128. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3811.1.7. PMID 24943152.