Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Gadiformes
(Cods) > Lotidae
(Hakes and burbots)
Etymology: Lota: French name for the cod (Ref. 45335); lota: From the French word "la Lotte" meaning codfish (Ref. 10294).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 7.5 - ? ; dH range: 18 - ?; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 700 m (Ref. 1998). Temperate; 4°C - 18°C (Ref. 2059); 78°N - 40°N, 180°W - 180°E
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 35 - 40 cm
Max length : 152 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27547); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1371); max. published weight: 34.0 kg (Ref. 27547); max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 556)
soft rays: 58 - 84;
Vertebrae: 50 - 67. Diagnosed from all other freshwater fishes in Europe by its pelvic fin origin anterior to pectoral fin origin and by having one central barbel on lower jaw (Ref. 59043). Distinguished by the long second dorsal fin, at least 6 times as long as the first, and a single barbel on the chin (Ref. 27547). Gill rakers short (Ref. 27547). First dorsal short; second dorsal and anal fins joined to caudal; pectorals short and rounded; caudal rounded (Ref. 27547), with 40 rays (Ref. 2196). Color is yellow, light tan to brown with a pattern of dark brown or black on the body, head and fins (Ref. 1371). Pelvic fins pale, others dark and mottled (Ref. 27547).
Circumarctic in freshwater (Ref. 1371). Europe: Loire drainage, France eastward to White, Barents and Arctic Sea basins; upper Volga drainage; western Caspian basin; rivers draining to Black Sea; Rhône drainage (France); in Italy native only in Po drainage; eastrward England (now extirpated). In Siberia eastward to River Lena. Reported that populations from eastern Siberia and North America belong to a different species, Lota maculosa (Ref. 59043).
The only member of the family which lives in freshwater. Crepuscular and nocturnal (Ref. 11941). Found in well oxygenated flowing waters and large lakes. Occurs from estuaries of large lowland rivers as well as from small mountain streams, preferring deep waters in summer (Ref. 59043). Also inhabit deep lakes and large rivers (Ref. 5723, 10294) with slow-moving current. Seek shelter under rocks, in crevices on the river banks, among roots of trees and dense vegetation (Ref. 30578, 10294). Those in rivers tend to congregate in deep holes throughout the year, except at spawning (Ref. 27547). Movements into shallower water during summer nights are related to feeding (Ref. 1998). Smaller individuals feed on insect larvae, crayfish, mollusks and other invertebrates with a changing preference for fishes in larger individuals (Ref. 1998, 10294). Source of oil. Sold mainly salted. Liver is sold smoked or canned in Europe (Ref. 1998). Processed into fishmeal (Ref. 1998). Because of its nocturnal habits and its slow movements, this fish is not very much appreciated by sport fishermen. Flesh is tasty but a little dry (Ref. 30578). Locally threatened due to river regulation (Ref. 59043).
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)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: experimental; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00454 (-0.04888 - 0.05796), b=3.09 (3.06 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.7 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.05; tm=2-7; tmax=20).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (66 of 100) .