Ecology of Cyclopterus lumpus
Main Ref. Stein, D.L., 1986
Remarks Its distributional range indicate that it is fairly eurythermal (Ref. 9737). Basically solitary rather than a schooling fish. Exhibits a homing instinct (Ref. 9737). Inhabits rocky bottoms but may occur among floating seaweed. Migrates considerable distances in an annual cycle between deeper waters in winter and shallower waters in summer (Ref. 26141). Epibenthic-pelagic (Ref. 58426). Feeds more intensively in the winter. Preferred food items are ctenophores, medusae, small crustaceans, polychaetes and small fishes (Ref. 4701). It is preyed upon by seals, sperm whale and Greenland shark. Parasites of the species include 3 protozoans and 2 copepods (Ref. 5951).

Aquatic zones / Water bodies

Marine - Neritic Marine - Oceanic Brackishwater Freshwater
Marine zones / Brackish and freshwater bodies
  • supra-littoral zone
  • littoral zone
  • sublittoral zone
  • epipelagic
  • mesopelagic
  • epipelagic
  • abyssopelagic
  • hadopelagic
  • estuaries/lagoons/brackish seas
  • mangroves
  • marshes/swamps
  • rivers/streams
  • lakes/ponds
  • caves
  • exclusively in caves
Highighted items on the list are where Cyclopterus lumpus may be found.


Substrate Ref.
Special habitats
Special habitats Ref.


Ref. Davenport, J., 1985
Associations solitary; schooling; shoaling;
Associated with
Association remarks Basically solitary rather than a schooling fish (Ref. 9737). Spawning, courtship, and parental care behavior study in Newfoundland qualifies this species as brooders where females migrate to inshore spawning areas asynchronously and with male-male interaction rare; the male ignoring its neighbor while tending its eggs (Ref. 39711). Larvae and juveniles use tidepools as a nursery area; young (5-80 mm) begin entering tide pools in June and occupy them until December. Marking experiments show they remain there for several days and even weeks; transplanted fish display some homing behavior by returning to the original pool. Current information on regular migration in the Gulf of Maine is a general movement of adults into shoal water during spawning time followed by an offshore movement afterward (Ref. 86779).


Feeding type mainly animals (troph. 2.8 and up)
Feeding type Ref. Stein, D.L., 1986
Feeding habit hunting macrofauna (predator)
Feeding habit Ref. Stein, D.L., 1986
Trophic Level(s)
Estimation method Original sample Unfished population Remark
Troph s.e. Troph s.e.
From diet composition 3.89 3.75 0.08 Troph of adults from 1 study.
From individual food items 3.64 0.43 Trophic level estimated from a number of food items using a randomized resampling routine.
Ref. Bowman, R.E., C.E. Stillwell, W.L. Michaels and M.D. Grosslein, 2000
(e.g. 346)
(e.g. cnidaria)
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