Pikelet fish: description, reproduction, habitat and interesting facts

Prickle fish belongs to the family of ray-finned, carrion-like squad. Its distinctive features are the absence of scales, the presence of several spines on the back (their number depends on the species), two spikes on the abdomen and accrete pelvic bones forming the so-called abdominal shield.

Trickle fish use their needles in case of danger. In a quiet state, the spines are adjacent to the body, but when attacked by a predator, it spreads them out so that they pierce the enemy into the mouth. Since these fish are well protected, they have virtually no enemies. They are very voracious, so any bait is suitable for fishing. With a significant number of individuals in the population are kept in large flocks.

stickleback fish

This small fish lives only three or four years. Up to the size of an adult individual, it grows to a year, at the same time it becomes sexually mature.

Classification and description of fish stickleback

By type of water are divided into freshwater, saltwater and aisle.

Freshwater is found and breeds only in fresh water and never enters the sea.

Sea lives in the sea, spawning goes into the coastal waters.

Passage lives in sea water, breeding goes to fresh water. If after spawning does not have time to leave the river, it perishes. Newborn individuals are gradually moving into the sea.

There are several types of smelt that differ in the number of needles on the back: three-needle, four-needle, nine-needle. In addition, they also distinguish the sea-stick, the southern small and stream.

stickleback fish what to catch


This fish reaches only 5-6 cm in length. The back has a greenish color with a brown tint, barrels and belly are silvery.

A three-pointed stickleed fish has three needles on its back. On the sides, instead of scales, there are transverse plates that taper towards the tail. There are about 30 of them. Bone plates are also located along the entire back.

Three-needle sticklebacks are freshwater and continuous. The latter, as a rule, die after spawning.


These fish live in salt water, and spawn in fresh water. Their body is smooth, without any bone plates on the sides.They feed on plankton.


Representatives of this species are smaller than the three-needle ones. They have a completely naked extended body with 9-10 prickles. On the back of green-brown color there are two black stripes, abdomen is silvery. During the spawning period, the males acquire a black color, the needles on the abdomen become white.

prickle fish description

Sea stickleback

Adults of this species reach 17–20 cm in length. Their body is fusiform, slender, with short dorsal and anal fins and a slender tail. On the back from 14 to 16 small spines. The color of the back and tail is green-brown, the barrel has a golden hue. During the mating season, the male turns blue.

These fish live alone and are not collected in flocks.

South small

This fish is distinguished by a large number of dorsal spines. The size of the southern small stickleback is about 5.5 cm, although there are individuals that reach 7 cm in length. The fish has a big head and a rather thick body. On the sides are bone plates, there is an abdominal shield, but there is no keel on the tail.


This species is very common, it behaves actively in reservoirs. Reaches a length of not more than 6 cm. On the back from 4 to 6 spines. With the onset of the mating season, the males become bright red.

fish three-pointed stickleback

Where dwells

Especially a lot of stickle can be found in the Baltic and White seas. There is it in the rivers of Western Siberia, in the lower reaches of the Dnieper, in the North Donets, in the waters of the Black, Azov and Caspian Seas, and in ilmenyas in the Astrakhan region. You can meet in the Volga and the rivers of the Volga basin.

Fish stickleback likes quiet places with a calm flow. It may be small grooves, rivers, lakes with sandy or muddy bottom and shores overgrown with grass.

Three-needle and nine-needle live in all European countries. In Russia, the stickleback habitat is a river flowing into the White and Baltic Seas, rivers of the Far East, water bodies of the Leningrad Region, Lake Onega.

fish stickleback nest

The sea stickleback lives along the entire coast of Europe, from Norway to the Bay of Biscay. Its habitats are sea zones near rocky shores.

The southern small is found in the desalinated parts of the Azov, Black and Caspian seas, as well as in the rivers that flow into them. Also lives in the lower reaches of the Dnieper and the Northern Donets.

Description of breeding stickleback

Fish spawning time is most often April-May. A few days before they change color - become more vivid.Their fecundity is low - only 100 deferred eggs.

The peculiarity of this species is that for laying off the caviar a trickle-fish equips a nest. And it is not the female that is doing this, but the male. He pulls his mouth a hole in the sand, then transfer there pieces of silt, algae, grass and lays the bottom. For the fortress, all this is held together by slime secreted from the fish. The ball-shaped nest has two holes opposite each other. Sometimes it is half hidden in silt and difficult to detect.

stickleback breeding description

After the place is equipped, the male returns to the flock, selects the female, ready for laying, and drives her into the nest through one of the holes. The female lays eggs and goes to another hole, after which the male enters the nest and fertilizes the pending eggs with milt.

After that, the male remains at the nest and protects it, not allowing enemies. This lasts about two weeks, until all the young fish that have hatched from the eggs leave the nest. And before that, he closely follows the offspring, not allowing him to go far from the nesting site.


Tickle fish eats the most varied food. These are mainly small inhabitants of water bodies, namely, crustaceans, worms, insect larvae, plankton, benthos (organisms living at the bottom of the water body).In addition, they are able to eat caviar and young individuals of other fish and even their own species.

They hunt moving prey at night. Especially hunting succeeds in the full moon, as they need at least a small amount of light. Sea stickleback is very active and pursues small fish. She, finding a prey, rushes to her, quickly seizes her jaws, stretching them forward, and closes her sharp teeth, leaving the victim no chance for salvation. Other sticklebacks, seeing such a picture, rush to it with all the jamb in the hope that they will also get food.


Prickle fish is prone to parasitic diseases, such as ergazilez, argued, because in its diet there are intermediate carriers - crustaceans.

stickleback fish

How to catch

Catch stickback from the bottom. It is not of particular interest to anglers, since it does not have nutritional value. Rather, it is an amateur activity, for example, for children and teenagers. Since it is very gluttonous, fishing will be easy.

What is fishing stickie? She pecks on moldy worm, a worm, fish spawn, and even a bare hook. In winter, colored baits of various shapes and sizes are used with baits, bloodworms, worm and maggots as bait. Online, this trifle due to its size almost does not come across.

Fishermen consider it a weed fish, but still there is some benefit from it. From it receive technical fat, do fodder flour and fertilizer for the fields.

There are lovers who keep her in the house in the aquarium.


It turns out that a monument was erected in honor of the stickleback This sculptural composition is located in Kronstadt on the island of Kotlin and is called the “Blockade Kolushka Monument”. In the besieged Leningrad, all commercial fish were caught in the Gulf of Finland, and only one small fish remained, which in peacetime was not eaten and was considered garbage by fishermen. It so happened that in the years of the blockade, the stickle fish saved thousands of people from starvation. Small prickly fish did not fall into the net, so they caught it with shirts, nets, bags. From it fried patties on her own fat and cooked her ear.

In the second medical hospital in Leningrad, stickleback fat was used to treat wounds and burns among fighters.

stickleback habitat

The idea of ​​the monument originated in 1957, but the project was submitted for consideration only in 2004. At the initiative of veterans of Kronstadt, it was created and installed near the Blue Bridge on the wall of the Obvodny Canal - three bronze sticky tins on metal waves and a plaque with lines from the poem “Blocade stickleback "by the poet Aminova M. The author of the monument is the sculptor Chepurnoy N. V.The opening took place in 2005 on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Victory.


Kolyushka is considered a harmful fish that can negatively influence the populations of other species. The fact is that they eat the eggs of other fish and thereby reduce their numbers. If it penetrates the pond, it will be impossible to breed other fish there. According to fishermen, the rapid reproduction of the stickleback in a pond leads to a decrease in the number of other species. It spreads particularly rapidly in Lake Onega and the adjacent water bodies. And other fish are saved only by the fact that the spike destroys its own caviar too.

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