Gaidropsarus ensis

Common Name

Threadfin Rockling

Year Described

Reinhardt, 1837


Dorsal Fin: 52-64 (third fin)
Anal Fin: 40-48
Pectoral Fin: 20-27
Pelvic Fin: 6-9
Gill Rakers: 11-13 (first arch)
Vertebrae: 52-53 total

Body very elongate and tapering posteriorly. Head about one fifth of standard length. Eye width less than interorbital distance. Upper jaw projects significantly. Teeth present on premaxilla, vomer, and dentary. Two distinct barbels on snout adjacent to anterior nostrils. A single chin barbel. There are three dorsal fins: the first a single long pseudospine (86-114% HL) that reaches well beyond D3, the second a series of very short hairlike rays lacking membranes, and the third a long and low fin consisting of membrane bound segmented rays. First dorsal fin rests in a groove on top of head. Anal fin long and low with origin well behind D3. Pectoral fin large. Pelvic fin with second ray more elongated than rest. Tail rounded and separated from D3 and anal fins. Body scaled. Head naked. Lateral line interrupted and distinctly notched under anterior third of D3. Pores present on head.


Body pinkish to reddish, grading to whitish below. Body peppered with small dark spots and faint brown marbling. Fins usually grayish with a broad reddish outer border. Lateral line checkered red and white. Eye black.


Maximum size to 42cm TL.


Benthic on hard bottoms. Occurs from 229-2020m, but usually 235-650m in the Arctic N. Atlantic. Deeper southward. Water is near freezing where it is collected.


North Atlantic: N. Greenland through the Davis Strait to off Newfoundland, and the Bear Seamounts off New England to Cape Hatteras (deep water). Also in the northeastern Atlantic.


Barros-García, D., Bañón, R., Arronte, J.C., Fernández-Peralta, L., García, R., Iglésias, S.P., Sellos, D.Y, Barreiros, J.P., Comesana, A.S. & A. De Carlos. 2018. New insights into the systematics of North Atlantic Gaidropsarus (Gadiformes, Gadidae): flagging synonymies and hidden diversity. Marine Biology Research, 14(1), 17-29.

Coad, B.W., & J.D. Reist. 2018. Marine Fishes of Arctic Canada. University of Toronto Press. 618pp.