Elongated body. Large head 3.9-4.5 times in total length. Large mouth, lower jaw shorter than upper jaw. Jaws reach back to the vertical of eye. Moderate eye. Interorbital 4.6-6.7 times in head length. Well developed chin barbele. Three dorsal fins, the first is highest and has shortest base. Two anal fins, the first fin origin below second dorsal fin origin, the second anal fin origin below third dorsal fin origin. Caudal fin truncated. Dorsal, anal and pectoral fins are rounded. Pelvic fin base in front of pectoral fin base with slightly elongated filamentous first ray.
color : beige with green tinge. Small brown to green marks on the back and flank. White line along lateral line. White belly.
size : common 50-80 cm (max. 190 cm).
Gadiculus argenteus, Merlangus merlangus, Micromesistius pountassou and Trisopterus spp.: the upper jaw does not project over lower jaw.
Other gadids and other families: 1-2 dorsal fins and a single anal fin.
BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Euryhaline and eurytherm schooling migratory fish. Feeds mainly on schooling fishes, such as herring, capelin, haddock and to a lesser extent, on crustaceans. Reaches maturity at age of 2-4 years. Mainly gonochoristic species but some hermaphrodite specimens have been observed. Eggs and larvae planktonic. Postlarvae settle near the bottom after 2.5 months.
habitat : inhabit the continental shelf, mainly close to the substrate but often off the bottom.