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Southern Cod-Icefishes: Notothenioidei

Emerald Notothen (trematomus Bernacchii): Species Account

Physical characteristics: Emerald notothen reach a length of about 12 inches (30 centimeters) and a weight of about 12 ounces (350 grams). They are thick-bodied and light brown to pinkish brown on the sides and have dark blotches. The belly is silvery gray. There may be a solid or interrupted white band across the neck and gill cover. These fish are covered with rough scales, except for a patch between the eyes, where there may be a single row of scales.

Geographic range: Emerald notothen live in Antarctica.

Habitat: Emerald notothen live on boulder, rock, or gravel bottoms or in sponge beds. Young fish live in shallow water, and mature fish live in deeper water.

Emerald notothen live in Antarctica. (Illustration by Michelle Meneghini. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: Emerald notothen eat whatever they can find, mainly bottom-dwelling invertebrates, or animals without backbones.

Behavior and reproduction: Emerald notothen spend most of their time staying still on the bottom. If they swim, it is slowly. These fish live eight to ten years. They can reproduce when they are five years old. Females spawn every two years. The eggs attach to rocks, seaweed, or sponges. Emerald notothen may tend egg masses in sponges.

Emerald notothen and people: Emerald notothen are important in the study of how living things survive in the Antarctic environment.

Conservation status: Emerald notothen are not threatened or endangered. ∎



Nelson, Joseph S. Fishes of the World. 3rd ed. New York: Wiley, 1994.

Web sites:

"Emerald Notothen or Emerald Rockcod Trematomus bernacchii." University of California, San Diego. http://scilib.ucsd.edu/sio/nsf/fguide/chordata8.html (accessed on October 28, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesSouthern Cod-Icefishes: Notothenioidei - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Emerald Notothen (trematomus Bernacchii): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SOUTHERN COD-ICEFISHES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS