Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes/Notothenioidei
(Icefishes) > Nototheniidae
(Cod icefishes) > Pleuragrammatinae
Etymology: Pleuragramma: Greek, pleura = side, ribe + Greek, gramma = letter, signal (Ref. 45335); antarctica: Named after the region in which this is common (Ref. 11892). More on author: Boulenger.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-oceanic; depth range 0 - 728 m (Ref. 11892). Polar; ? - 2°C (Ref. 6390); 60°S - 78°S, 180°W - 180°E
Southern Ocean: Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland, Elephant, South Orkney islands, Weddell, Bellingshausen, Ross and Davis seas, Oates, Adélie, Wilhelm and other coasts of East Antarctica to Prydz Bay.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 13 - ? cm
Max length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5179); common length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2121); max. published weight: 200.00 g (Ref. 6390); max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 5216)
(total): 6 - 8;
soft rays: 36 - 39;
Vertebrae: 52 - 56. Pre-opercular-mandibular canal pores 9 (rarely 10), with 3 (rarely 4) on the mandible. Infraorbital canal with 4+2 pores; lateral line organs (neuromasts) present exposed region between the canal segments, the normal number probably being 4 (rarely 5), but some or all are often missing. Supraorbital canal with 3+1 pores (a second, more posterior pore rarely present in postero-dorsal section); between these 2 supraorbital canal segments is a trough divided by 3 low transverse ridges into 4 shallow depressions; on each ridge is a neuromasts organ. Temporal canal with 1+4 pores; between the 2 segment lies a single exposed neuromast. Supratemporal canal with 1+1 pores; no traces of neuromasts were found in the intervening regions.
Color: In life, pink with a silvery hue, the dorsal surface slightly darker. All fins pale, with clear hyaline membranes. The body becomes silvery with a darker dorsum only after death (Ref. 28937).
Regarded as the only truly pelagic fish in Antarctic waters (Ref. 6390). Larvae and postlarvae occur between 0 to 135 m; juveniles 50 to 400 and adults below 400 m (Ref. 5179). Postlarvae feed mainly on eggs and larvae of copepods; juveniles mainly on copepods, but take also eggs and larvae of euphausiids, polychaetes and chaetognaths (Ref. 5179). Larger items are ingested with increase in size (Ref. 5179). Larval pelagic phase is long (Ref. 28916).
Mature females may spawn for the first time from around 7-9 years of age (Ref. 71843).
Dewitt, H.H., P.C. Heemstra and O. Gon, 1990. Nototheniidae. p. 279-331. In O. Gon and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Fishes of the Southern Ocean. J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, South Africa. (Ref. 5179)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): -1.8 - 0.9, mean -1 °C (based on 540 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00741 (0.00357 - 0.01540), b=3.10 (2.91 - 3.29), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.3 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.14; tm=3-4; tmax=20; Fec=4,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (52 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 22.7 [10.7, 46.1] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.522 [0.281, 0.993] mg/100g ; Protein = 16.2 [13.2, 18.8] % ; Omega3 = 0.42 [0.23, 0.80] g/100g ; Selenium = 11.2 [4.7, 27.8] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 32.1 [8.2, 126.2] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.58 [0.38, 0.86] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.