Lumpfish Facts

Lumpfish Facts
Lumpfish is marine fish that belongs to the family Cyclopteridae. There are 27 species of lumpfish that can be found in the Arctic, North Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean. Lumpfish inhabits cold water and usually resides on continental shelves and slopes, on a depth of 328 to 3.600 feet. Lumpfish is popular because of its caviar that can be used as a substitute for more expensive (sturgeon) caviar. Adult fish are rarely used in human diet. Lumpfish are numerous and widespread in the wild (they are not on the list of endangered species).
Interesting Lumpfish Facts:
Lumpfish can reach 14 to 16 inches in length and 3 to 6 pounds of weight. Females are larger than males.
Lumpfish can be bluish grey, olive, brownish, yellowish-green or reddish-brown colored. Color of the body matches with the colors of the environment and provides camouflage. Males are more vividly colored than females. Their belly turns red during the breeding season.
Lumpfish has short head and short, thick, roundish body which ends with lumpy tail. It has small mouth filled with small, conical teeth. Lumpfish does not have scales. Its body is covered with 7 longitudinal ridges, lined with large, pointed tubercles. All fins except pectoral fins are small and roundish (pectoral fins are broad and fan-shaped). Ventral fins are fused and transformed into sucking disk.
Lumpfish uses sucking disk to attach itself for the substrate (rocks or other objects).
Lumpfish is poor swimmer. Its small, but heavy body is not designed for fast swimming.
Lumpfish spends most of its life on the bottom of the sea. It occasionally swims toward the shallow water and hides in the floating mass of seaweed.
Lumpfish is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on small crustaceans, mollusks, worms and occasionally on jellyfish and ctenophores.
Natural enemies of lumpfish are seals, Pacific cod and sablefish.
Lumpfish are solitary creatures. They migrate seasonally to the shallow water to spawn.
Mating season of lumpfish takes place from February to May.
Large females produce around 136.000 eggs per season. Mass of spongy eggs is laid in the nest at the bottom of the sea.
Male guards fertilized eggs until they hatch. He removes silt, ensures proper aeration and protects them against predators. Incubation period lasts 6 to 8 weeks. Male is extremely thin and exhausted when eggs finally hatch because he does not eat during incubation period.
Larvae are tadpole-shaped. They swim actively and feed on zooplankton, until they become large enough to hunt and eat small crustaceans (usually 10 days after hatching). Young lumpfish spend first year of their life hidden in the clumps of algae. They leave warm shallow water when they become fully developed.
Lumpfish reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years.
Lumpfish can survive 7 to 8 years in the wild.

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