Three-spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus Aculeatus)

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Three-spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus Aculeatus)
Three-spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus Aculeatus)

Video: Three-spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus Aculeatus)

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Video: Male three spined stickleback nudging female into nest, to encourage egg laying. 2023, February
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Three-spined stickleback (Three-spined stickleback) inhabits the basins of the White, Barents, Baltic, Black, Azov, the Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan. Lakes Ladoga, Onega, Imandra. Sea fish, but enters rivers and lakes. The three-spined stickleback likes a slow current, rivers and lakes with a muddy bottom and grassy shores. Ripens in the 2nd year of life. Spawning in April - June, in the north until August. The male builds a nest. The female lays 60-400 eggs in it. The male protects eggs and larvae.

The body is relatively high, laterally compressed. The caudal peduncle is short. There are 3-4 spines in front of the dorsal fin, the pelvic fins are in the form of spines. On the sides of the body there are sometimes large bony plates. The snout is short. The caudal peduncle is thin, with a keel. The back is greenish-brown, sometimes blackish, the side is silvery with dark gray-green spots, the chest and throat are pale pink. During spawning, males have bright blue eyes, the bottom of the head and belly are red, females have dark transverse rhombic spots on the back, and the sides are copper-yellow. Body length up to 11-12 cm, usually 4-6 cm.

Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), photo photograph of fish
Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), photo photograph of fish

Sea fish, but enters rivers and lakes. The three-spined stickleback likes a slow current, rivers and lakes with a muddy bottom and grassy shores. Ripens in the 2nd year of life. Spawning in April - June, in the north until August. The male builds a nest. The female lays 60-400 eggs in it. The male protects eggs and larvae. After spawning, many die. It feeds on insect larvae, worms, crustaceans, eggs and fish fry. Hibernates in the sea near the coast and far from them over great depths. It spawns in the spring in desalinated coastal areas and lagoons. Life expectancy is 3-4 years.

There are three main ecological forms: marine, the entire life cycle of which takes place in the open sea and coastal shallow waters (breeding period); checkpoint, migrating for spawning from the sea to fresh waters and back for wintering; and purely freshwater, constantly living in freshwater. The length of migrations of an anadromous form, for example, along the Kamchatka River, reaches 400 km or more. After spawning, some of the individuals die. Wintering in the sea occurs both near the coast and far from them over great depths.

Nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius)
Nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius)

Related article Nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius)

Until the age of two, the three-spined stickleback grows most intensively, and with the onset of puberty, the growth rate decreases. Females grow faster than males and reach the size of the latter 1 year earlier. Spawning is extended, lasts from May to the end of July. The female, having laid eggs, leaves for the coastal zone. The fry appear in July. At the beginning, they keep in small schools near the coast, and later they join and form clusters, which sometimes stretch along the coast for several miles. During this period, almost all fish feed on stickleback: cod, gobies, herring, eelpout, butterweed and others, stickleback itself and birds.

Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), photo photograph of fish
Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), photo photograph of fish

The food spectrum is quite extensive and diverse and includes organisms inhabiting the biotopes of the bottom, water column and surface, thickets of aquatic vegetation - dipterous and beetle larvae, shellfish and cladocerans planktonic crustaceans, swimming beetles, imagoes of aquatic and terrestrial insects [2].

The economic value is not great. The three-spined stickleback is harvested with small-mesh nets, nonsense, and nets. It is both a valuable food item for the main commercial fish and their pest, eating eggs and juveniles. Stickleback contains up to 10-12% fat rich in carotene (provitamin A). Stickleback fodder meal is rich in protein.

Keeping a three-spined stickleback in an aquarium

Fish are mobile, schooling, during the spawning period males are territorial and aggressive. Species aquarium, ground - fine sand, in some places overgrown plants, including small-leaved, free swimming space.

The lighting is natural or switched on through a variable resistance of an incandescent lamp, since the fish are frightened and suddenly rush to the sides with a sharp change in illumination.

Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), photo photograph of fish
Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), photo photograph of fish

Water: 16-22 ° C (with strong aeration they tolerate 24 ° C), dH up to 15 °, pH 6.5-7.5, rich in oxygen.

Food: live.

For successful spawning in the fall, males and females are kept separately at 12-16 ° C.

Spawning aquarium with sandy soil and small-leaved bushes. 1 male and 3-4 females are planted for spawning in the spring, aeration is turned on and the temperature is raised to 18-20 ° C. The male on the ground builds a nest from plants with an entrance and an exit. To make it easier, you can put a flower pot with a punched bottom on the ground sideways. After the females lay eggs in the nest one by one, they are removed. The male looks after eggs and larvae. After the fry swim, they remove it. Starter feed: live dust.

Literature:

1. Lebedev V.D., Spanovskaya V.D., Savvaitova K.A., Sokolov L.I., Tsepkin E.A. Fish of the USSR. Moscow, Mysl, 1969

2. Chereshnev I.A. Freshwater fish of Chukotka. - Magadan: SVNTs FEB RAS, 2008.-- 324 p.

3. K.A. Altukhov, A.A. Mikhailovskaya, F.B. Mukhomediyarov, V.M. Reliable, P.I. Novikov, Z.G. Palenichko. Fish of the White Sea. State publishing house of the Karelian ASSR, Petrozavodsk, 1958

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