Forkbeard (phycis phycis)
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Common name Forkbeard
Scientific name Phycis phycis
Class Osteichthyes
Order Gadiformes
Family Gadidae
Distribution The Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Gascony Gulf to Mauritius.
Habitat rocky, sandy and muddy substrates bordering the cliffs from depths of 10 - 20 metres up to 650 m.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of 65 cm.
Characteristicts Pelvic fin rays extremely elongated, reaching well beyond the origin of the anal fin. First dorsal fin with an elongate ray; barbled lower jaw.

A relatively high body becoming much thinner towards the tail. The head is quite large and the eyes are almost as large as the head. The lower jaw is shorter than the upper and is barbled. The teeth are small and arranged in rows. The forkbeard has two dorsal fins, the first is very short but the second is extremely elongated, reaching well beyond the origin of the anal fin, which is symmetrical with the second dorsal. The ventral fins are long and forked. Body colour is brown to red-gray dorsally, becoming paler ventrally and the fins are bordered in black and white.

Found over sand and mud bottoms, this species is nocturnal and hides in caves and crevices during the day where it establishes its lair. I feeds mainly on crustaceans and fish and reproduces between January and May. The young are pelagic until they have grown to about 4cm in length.