stickleback


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stickleback,

common name for members of the family Gasterosteidae, small fishes, widely distributed in both fresh- and saltwaters of the Northern Hemisphere. Sticklebacks range from 1 1-2 to 4 in. (3.7–10 cm) in length and lack true scales; they are equipped with short, strong spines in front of the dorsal and on the ventral fins, the number varying with the species. These are used as offensive and defensive weapons, often against other sticklebacks during the breeding season, when the male is brightly colored and pugnacious. Each male constructs a roofed nest by gluing together bits of vegetation with a sticky secretion from glands near the kidneys. Under his persuasion, several females deposit eggs in the nest, which he guards jealously until well after the young hatch. Sticklebacks feed on smaller invertebrates and on the fry and eggs of other fish. Best known are the three-spined, or common, stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, a coastal species, and the brook stickleback, Calaea inconstans, a smaller freshwater variety. Sticklebacks are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Gasterosteiformes, family Gasterosteidae.

Stickleback

 

any fish of the family Gasterosteidae of the order Gasterosteiformes. There are five genera, distributed in the salt, brackish, and fresh waters of Europe, Asia, North America, and North Africa. The species found in the USSR are the fifteen-spined stickleback (Spinachia spinachia), the spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius), and the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The body is 3–20 cm long. There are between three and 16 spines on the back before the dorsal fin; there is one large spine on the ventral fin (hence the Latin name). During the breeding season the males construct nests from twigs, plant remains, sand, and silt, which they reinforce with mucus. Two or three females deposit approximately 1,000 eggs in a nest. The male guards the eggs and, later, the larvae. These fish feed on small crustaceans, insect larvae, and on the eggs and larvae of other fishes, thus causing some losses to the fishing industry. Their commercial value is not great. Three-spined sticklebacks (length, up to 12 cm; weight, up to 4 g), which are caught in some places in large quantities, are used for clarifying fat.

stickleback

[′stik·əl‚bak]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any fish which is a member of the family Gasterosteidae, so named for the variable number of free spines in front of the dorsal fin.

stickleback

any small teleost fish of the family Gasterosteidae, such as Gasterosteus aculeatus (three-spined stickleback) of rivers and coastal regions and G. pungitius (ten-spined stickleback) confined to rivers. They have a series of spines along the back and occur in cold and temperate northern regions
References in periodicals archive ?
Virulence of the cestode Schistocephalus solidus and reproduction in infected threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus.
We propose that the most likely cause of this reverse evolution in the sticklebacks is from the higher levels of trout predation after the sudden increase in water transparency," said Peichel, whose Hutchinson Center lab has established the stickleback as a new model for studying complex genetic traits.
What's more, in both mice and sticklebacks with a PitX1 mutation, the residual pelvis tended to be larger on the left than the right.
Dr King said the stickleback experiment, in which the fish were moved from one tank to a new one in which food was secreted behind a tile at one end of the tank with a shelter at the other, came up with results that were predicted.
STICKLE FACTS THE stickleback has no scales, though some species have bony armour plates.
Most important, from the point of view of Schluter and other evolutionary biologists, was the appearance of a silver fish, usually no longer than a credit card, called the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus).
Though I lived on Carr Lane, Slaithwaite I had begun to play with lads who lived up Varley Road and we spent a lot of time in Hey Wood - damming the brook, fishing for stickleback, climbing trees.
MEMO to Russell Brand: The stickleback joke was funny, but I'm not so sure about the toe amputation gag.
The 13 papers in this collection describe such fish olfaction topics as the development and evolution of the olfactory organ in Gnathostome fish, responses to amino acids in rainbow trout, olfactory discrimination, recordings of stimulated goldfish, cross-adaptation, alarm reactions, solitary chemosensory cells, the Barbel taste system in catfish and goatfish, taste bud cells and their behavior, the role of gustation in comparisons of species based on volumetric brain data, and taste tests for the nine-spined stickleback from the Moscow River and White Sea basins.
The orders followed an investigation initially conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers in Los Angeles, which wants to protect the river, particularly the headwaters because the location provides a high-quality habitat for an endangered fish, the inch-long unarmored threespine stickleback.
Also, spiggin, an androgen-inducible protein in the stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), was induced after exposure in vivo to the effluent (42).
It is joined by the Great Diving Beetle, the Stickleback and Southern Hawker Dragonfly on the stamps which are also available in a special presentation pack.