Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Gadiformes
(Cods) > Merlucciidae
Etymology: Merluccius: Latin, mar, maris = the sea + Latin, lucius = pike (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; non-migratory; depth range 50 - 1000 m (Ref. 112558), usually 50 - 550 m (Ref. 58452). Deep-water; 0°C - ; 29°N - 19°S, 19°W - 15°E (Ref. 58452)
Eastern Atlantic: off the coast of tropical West Africa, from Mauritania to Angola. Range reported to extend to off southwest Africa near Cape Frio, Namibia (Ref. 6524).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 80.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26999)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 45-52. Head large and little depressed. Pectoral fin tips usually reaching the origin of anal fin in small but not in large individuals. Scales easily shed. Color usually blackish on back, steel gray to blackish on belly; caudal fin white-edged.
Feeds mainly on small fishes and partly on squids and shrimps (Ref. 1371). Marketed mostly fresh and frozen, also used for fishmeal and oil (Ref. 1371). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 1371.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba, 1990. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p. (Ref. 1371)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 7.3 - 19.8, mean 14.2 °C (based on 93 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00457 (0.00247 - 0.00844), b=3.09 (2.93 - 3.25), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.63 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 2.8 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.39(?); assuming tm>=2).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 13.1 [5.2, 37.4] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.315 [0.133, 0.654] mg/100g ; Protein = 17.7 [16.6, 18.8] % ; Omega3 = 0.156 [0.081, 0.297] g/100g ; Selenium = 32.3 [14.6, 73.7] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 9.06 [2.19, 35.49] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.238 [0.155, 0.368] mg/100g (wet weight);