Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Gadiformes
(Cods) > Merlucciidae
Etymology: Merluccius: Latin, mar, maris = the sea + Latin, lucius = pike (Ref. 45335). More on author: Castelnau.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 50 - 1000 m (Ref. 27121), usually 150 - 450 m (Ref. 27121). Deep-water; 11°S - 37°S, 5°E - 33°E (Ref. 58452)
Southeast Atlantic: Baie Farte, Angola around Cape to Natal, South Africa. Also found on Valdivia Bank (26°18'S, 6°20'E).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 47.4  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 140 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6605); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Found on the continental shelf and slope to depths over 1,000 m (Ref. 27121). Juveniles (to about 64 cm) feed on small crustaceans and small deep-sea fishes such as lanternfishes, whereas larger individuals feed chiefly on small hakes and jack mackerel (Ref. 1371); cannibalism is common (Ref. 27121). Migrates southward in the spring and northward in autumn (Ref. 1371). Breeds throughout the year, peaks of reproductive activity in August and September (Ref. 36731). Marketed smoked, frozen, and fresh on ice; eaten steamed, fried and baked (Ref. 9988).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 7.7 - 14.4, mean 10.2 °C (based on 78 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00525 (0.00350 - 0.00787), b=3.10 (2.97 - 3.23), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.65 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 9.2 (7.9 - 12.5) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 22 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.07-0.13).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (76 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 6.42 [2.46, 15.77] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.226 [0.100, 0.464] mg/100g ; Protein = 17.3 [16.2, 18.4] % ; Omega3 = 0.13 [0.07, 0.24] g/100g ; Selenium = 32.1 [14.7, 72.3] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 10.6 [2.9, 39.3] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.222 [0.146, 0.343] mg/100g (wet weight);