Review of the Pikes of Iran (Family Esocidae)

Brian W COAD


The systematics, morphology, distribution, biology, economic importance and conservation of the pike (Esox lucius) of Iran are described, the species is illustrated, and a bibliography on this fish in Iran is provided. There is one native species in the Caspian Sea basin, introduced elsewhere in Iran. The family is characterized by a flattened, elongate, duck-billed snout, dorsal and anal fins far back on the body near the tail, no adipose fin, teeth on the tongue and on the basibranchial bones behind the tongue are small, jaws have large teeth, branchiostegal rays 10-20, nasal bones are present, the swim bladder is connected to the gut by a duct, intermuscular bones are forked or Y-shaped, no fin spines, pelvic fins are abdominal, cycloid scales, the infraorbital sensory canal on the head has 8 or more pores, gill rakers are present as sharp denticles in patches, no pyloric caeca, the lateral line is complete, and the forked caudal fin has mostly 17 branched rays. Esox lucius is distinguished from other Iranian freshwater fish species by the broad and flat snout and position of the dorsal and anal fins being far back on the body.  Esox lucius is distributed across northern Eurasia and northern North America. Iranian populations are at the southern edge of the range for this species.


Esox, Biology, Morphology, Distribution.

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