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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

East Atlantic Red Gurnard Aspitrigla cuculus

The East Atlantic red gurnard could be said to be a “walking-talking” fish. The first three rays of the pectoral fins are shaped as separate, thick, finger-like feelers, which are covered with sensory organs. These feelers are used to “walk” over the seabed and probe for shrimp and crabs. The East Atlantic red gurnard has a large head protected by hard, bony plates and spines and two separate dorsal fins.

These gurnards sometimes form shoals, and as the fish move around, they make short, sharp grunting noises by vibrating their swim bladder with special muscles and so stay in contact with other gurnards nearby. East Atlantic red gurnards spawn in spring and summer and the eggs and larvae float freely near the surface. Adults live for at least 20 years. Although caught commercially, the East Atlantic red gurnard is not a main target for fishing.

East Atlantic Red Gurnardzoom image
  • Order Scorpaeniformes
  • Length Up to 20 in (50 cm)
  • Weight Not recorded
  • Depth 50–1,300 ft (15–400 m)
  • Distribution Temperate waters of northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean
East Atlantic Red Gurnard habitat mapzoom image