10 20 40 60 cm

mittakaava < 10 cm

Nine-spined stickleback and Brook stickleback
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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Lauri Urho

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Brook stickleback

Culaea inconstans

  • Other names: Five-spined stickleback
  • Family: Sticklebacks and tubesnouts – Gasterosteidae
  • Similar species: nine-spined stickleback, three-spined stickleback
  • Size: 3–5 cm.
  • Appearance: Like other members of the family, the brook stickleback has a body tapering to a slim caudal peduncle and fan-shaped tail. Closely resembles the nine-spined stickleback but has only five, sometimes six, dorsal spines. Also lacks lateral bony plates.
  • Colouring: Outside the spawning season the overall colour is greyish or olive green with indistinct mottling. Spawning males are almost black, females show dark and light patches.
  • Reproduction: Eggs laid in June-July in shallow weedy water. The male builds a nest out of bits of vegetation and entices females in to spawn. Having fertilised the eggs, he stays to fan them with oxygenated water until, after about a week, the fry hatch. He continues to guard his progeny until they are able to fend for themselves.
  • Food: Plankton and small bottom-living organisms.
  • Distribution and habitat: The brook stickleback originates from North America. It arrived in Finland by accident along with young bass imported for a fish farm. The bass never became established in Finland, but the stowaways remained and have since found their way in the company of carp introduced into a small lake in Vihti just north of Helsinki. Brook sticklebacks are also thought to have escaped from the fish farm into nearby Lake Lohjanjärvi.
Other species from the same family

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