Trisopterus minutus

Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Trisopterus minutus (Linnaeus, 1758)

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

Diagnosis: upper jaw projecting beyond lower one. A barbel on chin, long, about three-quarters of eye diameter. First anal fin base shorter than preanal distance, its origin usually below middle of first dorsal fin base. Anal fins in contact, dorsals sometimes with short interspaces. Body depth equal or less than head length. First dorsal finrays 12-13, second dorsal finrays 23-27, third dorsal finrays 20-25; first anal finrays 27-30, second anal finrays 20-25. Vertebrae 47-51. Gillrakers 25-32. (In T. minutus capelanus: first dorsal finrays 10-12, second dorsal finrays 17-20, third dorsal finrays 15-17; first anal finrays 25-29, second anal finrays 15-20. Vertebrae 45-48. Gillrakers 17-20.) Colour: brownish-yellow on back, flanks lighter and coppery, belly silvery grey. Size: to 26 cm SL. usually 15-20 cm.

Habitat: more oceanic than T. Iuscus, at depths of 30-300 m; only small fishes are found in shallow water. Behaviour: demersal fish, gregarious. Food: mainly decapods (shrimps, lobsters) and small fish. Reproduction: from February to May, mainly in March and April, in southern waters from December to March, at depths of 50-100 m and a minimum temperature of 8° C.

Distribution: European coasts from Trondheim Fjord to Gibraltar (T. minutus minutus) and Morocco, western Mediterranean (T. minutus capelanus).


Trisopterus minutus minutus: more than 20 gillrakers on the first gill arch.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Schmidt, 1905: 49, fig. 14, pl. III (fig. 16-19); 1906: 6, pl. I (fig. 19-23) | Ehrenbaum, 1909: 240, fig. 88.
Otoliths (sagitta). Frost, 1926: 487, pl. XXII (fig. 13) | Sanz Echeverria, 1935: 252, pl. XXIX (fig. 1-2) | Schmidt, 1968: 16, pl. 3 (fig. 30), pl. 16.

Trisopterus minutus capelanus (Lacepede): less than 20 gillrakers on the first gill arch.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. D'Ancona, 1933: 182, fig. 167-171, pl. Xll (fig. 1-5).
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverría, 1935: 253, pl. XXIX (fig. 4-5).