Cyclopterus lumpus is a fish of up to 50 cm long. Its body is large and squat. Scaleless, it has instead small bony plates and lateral rows of large bony lumps clearly visible on each side of the body. The dorsal fin thickens with age to form a kind of comb not very distinct of the rest of body in adult specimens. Ventral fins forms a sucker so that the fish can cling to rocky substratum. Its colour varies from greenish-gray to bluish-gray. During the breeding season, males are more vividly coloured : dark blue dorsally and orange ventrally and on the fins. From February to May, breeding time, lumpsuckers lay their eggs in coastal waters and males take care of them during 6 to 7 weeks till they hatch.
Cyclopterus lumpus lives mostly between 50 m and 300 m deep but in breeding season, it comes back up to swallow waters near surface. It is found in the North-Atlantic Ocean, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, occasionnally in the English Channel and further south in the Bay of Biscay with rare occurences down to northern Portugal.
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Source : World Register of Marine Species
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Dorsal fin : fin on the back of a fish.
Ventral fin : fin on the underside of a fish near the head also called pelvic fins.
Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2009 - 2022.
Photos : ©
John de Jong. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography
Bay-Nouailhat A., May 2009, Description of Cyclopterus lumpus, [On line] https://european-marine-life.org/34/cyclopterus-lumpus.php, consulted on 2022 August 15.
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