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Northern pike (Esox lucius)

Northern pike ( Esox lucius )

Subclass : Real bony fish (Teleostei)
Overcohort : Clupeocephala
Cohort : Euteleosteomorpha
Order : Pike-like (Esociformes)
Family : Esocidae
Genre : Pike
Scientific name
Linnaeus , 1758

The pike ( Esox ) are a genus of spindle-shaped predatory fish with seven species that live in Europe, North America and North Asia. The pike ( Esox lucius ) has the widest range and occurs in a circumpolar manner, the Amur pike ( Esox reicherti ) lives in the Amur river basin and on Sakhalin , the other three species are restricted to eastern North America. Pike are predatory fish and feed on other fish, frogs , newts , mice , rats and young ducks, and occasionally even crabs .


Pikes have a cylindrical body (only slightly flattened on the sides) and a wide, duck-bill-shaped mouth with around 700 pointed, backward-curved teeth ( canine and brush teeth). The dorsal fin and anal fin are shifted far back and, together with the caudal fin, form a rudder, which enables the shock predators to advance quickly on the prey. The pelvic fins sit in the middle of the body. The caudal fin is forked and has 40 to 50 fin rays , 17 of which are branched. No fin has hard rays. Pike have small round scales , the lateral line organ is complete. The swim bladder is connected to the foregut by a pneumatic duct . Pike grow to a length of 40 centimeters to a maximum of 1.80 meters, depending on the species. The number of vertebrae is 43 to 67.

Pike in the House of the Sea in Vienna


The genus Esox has two subgenera and seven species:

  • Subgenus Esox
  • Kenoza subgenus
    • American pike ( Esox americanus ) Gmelin, 1789
      • Redfin pike ( Esox americanus americanus ) Gmelin, 1789
      • Common pike ( Esox americanus vermiculatus ) Lesueur, 1846
    • Chain pike ( Esox niger ) Lesueur, 1818

The "tiger pike" is a cross between the European pike and the muscle lung.

In addition to Esox , two genera, Dallia and Novumbra , which were previously classified as dogfish (Umbridae) , have recently been added to the Esocidae family . Recent phylogenetic studies have shown that these genera are more closely related to Esox than to Umbra . Novumbra is the sister group of Esox , which together are the sister group of Dallia . All three genera together are the sister group of Umbra .



Web links

Commons : Pike  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Terry Grande, Howard Laten, J. Andrés López: Phylogenetic Relationships of Extant Esocid Species (Teleostei: Salmoniformes) Based on Morphological and Molecular Characters. In: Copeia. No. 4, 2004, ISSN  0045-8511 , pp. 743-757, (PDF; 344 kB) ( Memento from June 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  2. Denys, GPJ, Dettai, A., Persat, H., Hautecœur, M. & Keith, P. (2014): Morphological and molecular evidence of three species of pikes Esox spp. (Actinopterygii, Esocidae) in France, including the description of a new species. / Evidence morphologique et moléculaire de trois espèces de brochets Esox spp. (Actinopterygii, Esocidae) en France, dont la description d'une nouvelle espèce. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 5 August 2014, DOI: 10.1016 / j.crvi.2014.07.002 .
  3. ^ J. Andrés López, Wei-Jen Chen, Guillermo Ortí: Esociform phylogeny. In: Copeia. No. 3, 2004, pp. 449-464, abstract .
  4. ^ Tree of Life Web Project. 2005. Esociformes . Version 01 January 2005 (temporary). in The Tree of Life Web Project .