The Lumpfish is a small variety of sea-dwelling fish that belongs to the family of Lumpsuckers.
These fish remain the only known member of their genus and were previously believed to be a bottom dwelling species. However, we now know for certain that they migrate between different levels of the ocean.
This fish is popular for the relatively ball-like shape of its body, hence the name. They have actually been poorly studied so we know little of their biology or behavior patterns.
Lumpfish Physical Description
The Lumpfish displays a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism. As a result, the females are typically 25% larger than the males and generally attain a length of 20 in (50 cm). The males are rather less robust and reach an average length of about 16 in (40 cm).
The coloring is highly variable, with individuals being either gray, bluish, olive, yellowish, or various shades of brown. Males are usually brighter colored and turn a bright orange-red during the breeding season. So they are smaller but brighter in color to attract females.
Lumpfish Distribution and Ecology
The Lumpfish possesses a moderately limited range of distribution. They principally inhabit the North Atlantic Ocean but can also reach adjacent portions of the Arctic Ocean.
This range of this fish extends from the Chesapeake Bay on the coast of North America to the coast of Spain in Europe.
Most spend their first few months in tidal pools or clumps of seaweed. The larger they grow, the further from shore they move.
They primarily feed on fish eggs, zooplankton, and small crustaceans.
Breeding occurs shortly after reaching maturity, and it’s most noteworthy that the female lays as many as 350,000 eggs at one time.