Gadus morhua

Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: first dorsal finrays 14-15, second dorsal finrays 18-22, third dorsal finrays 17-20; first anal finrays 19-23, second anal finrays 17-19. Vertebrae 49-53. Colour: variable, generally sandy brown, with a green tinge, densely mottled with small brownish or greyish marks on the sides and back, the belly white. In coastal regions and in the Baltic and White Seas the colour is darker and motley. Size: to 190 cm SL, usually 50-80 cm.

Habitat: continental shelf from shoreline to 600 m depth or even deeper, usually 150-200 m, at bottom or in intermediate water layer between 30-80 m off bottom in Atlantic and less deep in Baltic and White Sea. Behaviour: gregarious, forming shoals and undertaking spawning and feeding migrations. Food: diet of adults is variable and consists mainly of herring, capelin, haddock, codling and other fish present in numbers, also euphausiids, hyperiids, amphipods, polychaetes, etc. Reproduction: spawning over the continental shelf of northern Europe, especially at Lofoten Islands, inside 200 m line, from February to April and from March to May in coastal region of White Sea.

Distribution: North Atlantic and adjacent seas, from Bay of Biscay to Greenland, Spitzbergen and Novaya Zemlya (G. m. morhua L.), Baltic (G. m. callarias L.) and White Sea (G. m. marisalbi Derjugin) also in western North Atlantic and both sides of North Pacific (G. m. macrocephalus Tilesius).


5 subspecies are recognized; in Clofnam area 3:

Gadus morhua morhua:
inter-orbital space 15.5-20.5% of head length. Swimbladder anterior processes elongate, usually curved laterally at tips.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Schmidt, 1905: 9, fig. 1, pl. I (fig. 1-9); 1905: 4, pl. I (fig. 25-27) | Ehrenbaum, 1909: 224, fig. 84 | Pertzeva, 1936: 10-11, 21, fig. 1-3.
Otoliths (sagitta). Koken, 1884: 532, pl. IX (fig. 6) | Fryd, 1901: 26, fig. | Scott, 1906: 61, pl. IA (fig. 1-10) | Frost, 1926c: 487, pl. XXII (fig. 17-18) | Schroeder, 1956: 133, pl. V (fig. 3) | Schmidt, 1968: 14, pl. 2 (fig. 25), pl. 15.

Gadus morhua callarias:
inter-orbital space nearly the same, as in G. m. morhua, but swimbladder anterior processes usually very long and rolled in ball at tips.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Kazanova, 1953: 244, fig. 19-20.
Otoliths (sagitta). Mina and Tokareva, 1967: 329, fig. 2-12.

Gadus morhua marisalbi:
inter-orbital space 18.5-24% of head length. Swimbladder anterior processes as in G. m. morhua.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). Taliev, 1931:105, pl. IV (fig. 8).