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(vertebrate zoology)
The pikes, a family of fishes in the order Clupeiformes characterized by an elongated beaklike snout and sharp teeth.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of fishes of the suborder Esocidei. The body is sagittate and reaches 1.5 m in length and 35 kg in weight. The head is large, and the snout extremely elongated and flattened on top. The teeth are located on the intermaxillary bones, vomer, palatal bones, lower jaw, and tongue. The mandibular teeth are dagger-shaped. The gill membranes are not fused. The operculum is rectangular and elongate. Small scales cover the body and head.

The family contains a single genus, Esox (pike), with the two subgenera Esox and Kenoza, which embrace five extant species. The northern pike (E. lucius) is distributed in northern waters of Europe, Asia, and America, and the Amur pike (E. reicherti) inhabits the basin of the Amur and bodies of water on Sakhalin Island. The muskellunge (E. masquinongy), the common pickerel (E. niger), and the redfin pickerel (E. americanus) are found only in eastern North America.

The Esocidae inhabit fresh or slightly brackish waters with rich vegetation. They feed on other fishes, including their own young, as well as frogs, small rodents, and swimming birds. They reach sexual maturity in three to four years. The fish spawn in early spring and early summer near the coast in shallows (0.4–1 m). They deposit 17,500–215,000 roe on coastal plants. The eggs adhere to the plants and in two or three days fall to the bottom and develop there. The Esocidae are popular commercial fish. In some places, for example, in the Byelorussian SSR, they are farmed.

The Esocidae are known in fossil form from the Oligocene.


Berg, L. S. Ryby presnykh vod SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, 4th ed., part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Nikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.
Sychevskaia, E. K. Iskopaemye shchukovidnye SSSR i Mongolii. Moscow, 1976. (Trudy Paleontologicheskogo instituto AN SSSR, vol. 156.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Further model specificity identified four families of fishes associated with Plains Topminnow disappearance statewide that have the potential for both competitive (i.e., Fundulidae; Fischer and Paukert 2008; Schumann et al., 2015) and predatory (i.e., Esocidae) interactions or both (i.e., Poeciliidae; Schumann et al., 2015).
0 0 0 Ariidae Arius felis 0 0 0 Esocidae Esox niger 0 0 0 Synodontidae Synodus foetens 0 0 0 Belonidae Strongylura marina 0 0 0 Strongy1ura notata 2 0 0 Strongylura timucu 0 0 0 Cyprinodontidae Adinia xenica 7 7 0 Cyprinodon variegatus 4 0 0 Lucania goodei 0 0 11 Lucania parva 0 2 2 Fundulidae Fundulus confluentus 2 0 0 Fundulus grandis 33 39 6 Fundulus majalis 29 12 24 Fundulus seminolis 7 2 0 Poeciliidae Gambusia holbrooki 6 0 59 Heterandria formosa 0 1 0 Poecilia latipinna 1 0 0 Atherinidae Membras martinica 0 0 4 Menidia spp.
2844 18.8 11.9 Pimephales notatus 5 <0.01 <0.01 Family Catostomidae Catostomus commersoni Moxostoma valenciennesi I <0.01 0.6 Family Ictaluridae Ameiurus melas Noturus gyrinus 6 <0.01 0.1 Family Esocidae Esox lucius Family Salmonidae Coregonus sp.
(dace) 1 0.8 0 0.0 Large non-carp cyprinid (1) 1 0.8 1 0.7 Small cyprinid (2) 0 0.0 13 8.7 Esocidae Esox lucius (northern pike) 11 8.3 3 2.0 Hiodontidae (mooneyes) 5 3.8 2 1.3 Ictaluridae (catfish) 14 10.5 1 0.7 Percidae (perches) 8 6.0 3 2.0 Etheostoma spp.
Grass pickerel Esox americanus vermiculatus (Crossman, 1966) is the smallest member of the family Esocidae which includes muskellunge Esox masquinongy, northern pike Esox lucius, chain pickerel Esox niger and redfin pickerel Esox americanus americanus (Crossman, 1966).
nocturnus, freckled madtom 4 4 Pylodictus olivaris, flathead catfish 81 41 21 Esocidae Esox americanus, grass pickerel 82 27 52 E.
Few other fishes in southeastern streams regularly eat large prey items such as those mimicked by these mussel species, and the few that do may serve as hosts for some species of Lampsilis (e.g., Esocidae and large Percidae, Waller and Holland-Bartels, 1988).
stigmosus Taylor, northern WC madtom Pylodictis olivaris (Rafinesque), I flathead catfish Order Salmoniformes (trout, slamon, whitefish) Family Esocidae (pikes) Esox americanus Gmelin, grass pickerel E.