Capelin(redirected from Mallotus villosus)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
(Mallotus villosus), a marine fish of the family Osmeridae. Body length, up to 22 cm; weight, up to 17 g. It inhabits the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Barents, White, and Kara seas. Its subspecies, the Pacific capelin Mallotus v. socialis, is found off Canada and in the Japan, Okhotsk, Bering, Chukchi, and Laptev seas. Capelins are pelagic fish, which move in shoals and feed on planktonic crustaceans. They reach sexual maturity in the second or third year. The female deposits from 6,000 to 40,000 eggs, which are benthic. Spawning occurs on sandy shores or on sandbars. Capelins are commercially valuable.