Gasterosteus aculeatus 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Gasterosteiformes Gasterosteidae

Scientific Name: Gasterosteus aculeatus Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Threespined Stickleback, Banstickle, Barnystickle, Barnytickle, Branchy, Branstickle, Burnstickle, Common stickleback, Cushy, Doctor, Eastern stickleback, European stickleback, Jacksharp, New York stickleback, Pinfish, Prickley, Prickly, Prickly, Prickly back, Santa Ana Stickleback, Saw-finned stickleback, Spanicle, Spannistickle, Spanny, Spannytickle, Spantickle, Sparnicle, Sparny, Sparnytickle, Spawn, Spawnykettle, Spawnytickle, Stickleback, Thornback, Thorny back, Threespine Stickleback, Tiddler, Twospine stickleback
French Arselet, Cordonnier, Crève-valet, Épinart, Épinglet, Épinoche, Épinoche à trois épines, Estancelin, Estranglo cat, Spinaubé, Spinavaou, Stichling
Spanish Espinocho, Espinós, Espinosillo, Espinoso
Gasteracanthus cataphractus Pallas, 1814
Gasterosteus pugetti Girard, 1856
Gasterosteus texanus Sauvage, 1874
Gasterosteus aculeatus messinicus Stephanidis, 1971
Gasterosteus algeriensis Sauvage, 1874
Gasterosteus argentatissimus Blanchard, 1866
Gasterosteus argyropomus Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus atkinsii Bean, 1879
Gasterosteus bailloni Blanchard, 1866
Gasterosteus biaculeatus Mitchill, 1815
Gasterosteus biarmatus Krynicki, 1840
Gasterosteus bispinosus Walbaum, 1792
Gasterosteus brachycentrus Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus cataphractus (Pallas, 1814)
Gasterosteus cuvieri Girard, 1850
Gasterosteus dekayi Ayres, 1855
Gasterosteus dimidiatus Reinhardt, 1837
Gasterosteus elegans Blanchard, 1866
Gasterosteus hologymnus Regan, 1909
Gasterosteus inopinatus Girard, 1854
Gasterosteus insculptus Richardson, 1855
Gasterosteus intermedius Girard, 1856
Gasterosteus leiurus Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus loricatus Reinhardt, 1837
Gasterosteus nemausensis Crespon, 1844
Gasterosteus neoboracensis DeKay, 1842
Gasterosteus neustrianus Blanchard, 1866
Gasterosteus niger Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus noveboracensis Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus obolarius Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus plebeius Girard, 1854
Gasterosteus ponticus Nordmann, 1840
Gasterosteus quadrispinosa Crespon, 1844
Gasterosteus santaeannae Regan, 1909
Gasterosteus semiarmatus Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus semiloricatus Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus serratus Ayres, 1855
Gasterosteus spinulosus Yarrell, 1835
Gasterosteus suppositus Sauvage, 1874
Gasterosteus teraculeatus Lacepède, 1801
Gasterosteus tetracanthus Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus trachurus Cuvier, 1829
Gasterosteus williamsoni Girard, 1854
Leiurus aculeatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Taxonomic Source(s): Mattern, M.Y. 2007. Phylogeny, systematics and taxonomy of sticklebacks. In: S. Ostlund-Nilsson, I. Mayer and F.A. Huntingford (eds), Biology of the Three-spined Stickleback, pp. 1-40. CRC Press, Broca Raton, Florida.
Taxonomic Notes: Populations from the Atlantic and Black Sea basins have not yet been compared in detail. Preliminary observations suggest that they are probably distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2010-03-05
Assessor(s): Freyhof, J.
Reviewer(s): Smith, K.
Contributor(s): Kottelat, M.
A widespread species with no known major widespread threats.

European Union 27 = LC. Same rationale as above.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:North Sea coasts of Scotland and Scandinavia, coasts of Iceland and White Sea, Atlantic coasts from Ireland northward, southeastern shore of Baltic Sea and its basin (Odra and Vistula drainages), shores of Black Sea and its northern basin (from Danube to Kuban drainages). Almost absent inland in Finland, except north of 68°N. Hybrid zone with G. gymnurus in English Channel, southern North Sea, Baltic Sea and their basins. Introduced to northern Italy.
Countries occurrence:
Belarus; Belgium; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Iceland; Ireland; Isle of Man; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Slovakia; Sweden; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Range Map:8951-1

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat:
At sea: shallow coastal areas. In freshwaters, prefers small streams, but may be found in a variety of habitats including lakes and large rivers.

Anadromous, with numerous resident populations in brackish or pure freshwater, rarely in marine waters. Usually forages at sea until two years old, then moves to lower part of rivers in March-April to reproduce. Freshwater populations usually spawn for the first time at one year. In spawning season, males develop a bright orange to red belly and blue-green flank and eyes. They defend territories, in which in April-June they construct a nest on the bottom, in relatively shallow areas, very rarely attached to plants. They make a depression up to 14 × 10 cm to which they bring plant materials (especially filamentous algae), which are glued together with kidney secretions. Several females are individually led to the nest to spawn, then chased away. Males guard and fan eggs to provide them with oxygenated water. Spawning behaviour is very stereotyped. Eggs hatch in 7-8 days and juveniles are guarded for a few days after which male abandons the nest. Anadromous individuals usually die of exhaustion after spawning cycle while freshwater individuals are able to complete several cycles within one year or sometimes over several years. Juveniles move to sea (anadromous populations) or to deeper, larger water bodies (freshwater populations) in July-August where they form large feeding schools. Feeds on small aquatic invertebrates, especially insects and crustaceans.
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major widespread threats known. However the species has been listed as threatened in some of its range states such as Endangered in Croatia where the species does not occur naturally.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No information.

Citation: Freyhof, J. 2008. Gasterosteus aculeatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T8951A12938748. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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