Species encyclopedia

Tub Gurnard

Chelidonichthys lucerna


The tub gurnard prefers beds of sand or mud, ranging from 20 to more than 300 m below the surface. It comes in closer to the coast in the summer, sometimes even entering into estuaries, and returns to the deepest ocean for the winter.

This fish has the unique feature of moving around the ocean floor using the first three pairs of rays on its pectoral fins, which have no membrane connecting them to one another. These locomotive appendages are equipped with sensory receptors that allow it to locate prey buried in the sediment.


Young tub gurnard feed primarily on crustaceans and small worms, while adults seek out cephalopods and fish. When threatened, they unfurl their large pectoral fins decorated with bright blue patterns to alarm any nearby predators.

Gurnard are fished by trawling and are valued for their firm white flesh.

The name of « gurnard » was given to this fish for the grunting noises it makes by contracting the muscles around its gas bladder.

Atlantic Ocean


Species encyclopedia

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