Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Gadiformes
(Cods) > Phycidae
Etymology: Urophycis: Greek, oura = tail + Greek, phyke, pykis, -idos = the female of a fish that lives among algae (Greek = phykon), related with the gudgeon (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 35 - 1152 m (Ref. 57178), usually 110 - 130 m. Temperate; 46°N - 33°N, 79°W - 46°W
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 26.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 66.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); max. published weight: 3.6 kg (Ref. 40637)
spines: 0. First dorsal fin ray elongated. Pelvic fins also reaching about the anal fin origin. Body color variable, reddish to olive brown dorsally, sometimes very dark or mottled; lower sides paler, sometimes with dusky dots; belly and underside of the head pale. A dusky blotch present on the opercle. The fins are generally dark, except for the pelvic fins, which are pale.
Northwest Atlantic: North Carolina to southern Nova Scotia, straying to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Rare European records are probably misidentifications of Urophycis tenuis.
Found on soft muddy and sandy bottoms, but never on rocks, gravel or shells. Juveniles live along the coasts at shallow depths (4-6 m); adults migrate to deeper waters, generally to between 110 and 130 m, and in some instances, to over 550 m. Juveniles live in scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) and remain close to scallop beds until they mature (Ref. 9988). They prefer temperatures of 8-10°C (Ref. 5951). Feed on shrimps, amphipods and other crustaceans, also on squid and herring, flatfish, mackerel and others. Utilized fresh, dried or salted and frozen; also small fish are used for fishmeal ; eaten steamed, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988). Maximum depth reported from Ref. 57178.
Cohen, D.M., T. Inada, T. Iwamoto and N. Scialabba, 1990. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 10. Gadiform fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(10). Rome: FAO. 442 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5044 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.19; tm=2-3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (51 of 100) .