Red gurnard (Chelidonichthys cuculus)
|Researched by||Morvan Barnes||Refereed by||This information is not refereed|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||Aspitrigla cuculus|
The red gurnard Chelidonichthys cuculus is a member of the scorpionfish family and has a charcteristic suborbital stay, a bony extension from below the eye to the preopercle. It may reach up to 50 cm in length. It can be recognised by the enlarged rays off the pectoral fin, used for food detection, and the way the pectoral fins open and close like a bird's wing. The red gurnard is a good sound producer and, when caught, it makes a croaking noise similar to a frog. It is red in colour with pinkish-silver mottling.
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandWidely recorded throughout British and Irish waters.
Global distributionAbundant around the coasts of the British Isles and the Bay of Biscay, and recorded in the North Sea east into the Kattegat, around the Azores and in the Mediterranean.
HabitatThe red gurnard is a demersal species. It can be found over sand, gravel and rocks on the continental shelf, from 15 m down to a depth of 400 m.
Depth range15 - 400 m
- Up to 50 cm in length.
- Bony extension from below the eye to the preopercle.
- Two to three enlarged rays off each pectoral fin.
- Large angular head and steep snout.
- Up to 10 dorsal spines.
- Scales absent on breast and anterior part of belly.
The red gurnard is classified as a generalist. It is characterized by fast growth and early sexual maturity at a relatively large size (Quero et al., 1986).
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South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Fish (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/htsfiy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.
This review can be cited as:
Last Updated: 22/05/2008