Purple Octopus - using citizen science to discover marine interactions
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Pollachius pollachius

(Linnaeus, 1758)


Paula Lightfoot Hi, can anyone confirm if this is the shore rockling Gaidropsaurus mediterraneus? It was on a shallow shore dive in Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire. The fish was about 20cm long and uniform dark brown colour.

Chris Barrett Possibly hard to say from a head-shot only, but G.mediterraneus shouldn't have the reddish/brown, blotched colour that G.vulgaris has

Andy Horton I am not sure as I do not have personal expereince with this fish. See the notes on http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Rockling.htm

Andy Horton I am gtempted to think this is Gaidropsarus vulgaris from the shape of the mouth.

Paula Lightfoot Both are target species in the Meet the Species project http://www.bnhc.org.uk/home/meet-the-species.html that haven't been found yet so it's good to know we've got one or the other! Wish I'd been able to get a shot of the body before it went into the hole and just stuck its head out.

Douglas Herdson Hi, yes the Shore rockling Gaidropsarus mediterraneus. G.vulgaris is normally a much bulkier animal with distinctive colouration (see page 1 of the Scillies fish guide) http://www.ios-wildlifetrust.org.uk/livingseas/Fish_identification_guide_and_study. Sometimes the second pair of upper lip barbels are not obvious on Ciliata mustela, but I am sure they would have been in a clear photo like this one.

Douglas Herdson Having just perused the "Meet the species" website, I find the bony fish list rather strange. Why are the Arctic Rockling, which no-one is likely to find, and the Giant goby, which is a protected species, included. Similarly the names - red wrasse is an old name for the female cuckoo wrasse; Gilt-head is the Manx name for the Corkwing, while in the rest of Britain Gilthead is the sea bream Sparus aurata. Finally I do wish people would stop using the name PollOck for Pollachius pollachius, the PollAck, when it is the official American name for Pollachius virens - our Saithe, Coalfish or Coley! Can I include the fish I meet tomorrow morning at the fish market? BTW Gaidropsarus vulgaris, the Three-bearded Rockling is not on the list. Neither is the Lesser Weever.

Paula Lightfoot That's odd, BNHC sent round a list of species that had not yet been found on the 6th August and on that list Gaidropsaurus vulgaris IS included, but with the common name of arctic rockling! No, lesser weever isn't on the list - I think if you're doing an outreach event with kids that's a species you don't WANT to meet! They also included an encrusting pink alga which I suspect can't be ID'd to species level in situ, a couple of Ceramiums and several chitons which are very tricky indeed!! Still, the project seems to have done a lot to engage the public in biological recording and species ID - we certainly had fun yesterday, it added an extra challenge to our shore survey and Seasearch dives! Not sure if you can include the fish at the market!! I think you have to register your event with them beforehand ;-)

Douglas Herdson That is strange when I click on Arctic Rockling it gives the correct name of Gaidropsarus argentatus. Shame the MBA Bioblitz was not included. This year at Cawsand Bay we recorded about 1000 species.

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 19 Aug 2012
Taxonomy
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Chordata (Phylum)
    Vertebrata (Subphylum)
      Gnathostomata (Superclass)
        Pisces (Superclass)
          Actinopterygii (Class)
            Gadiformes (Order)
              Gadidae (Family)
                Pollachius (Genus)
                  Pollachius pollachius (Species)
Associated Species