Arctic Cod (Arctogadus glacialis) – Profile | Description

arctic cod
(Last Updated On: April 13, 2021)

Arctic cod scientific name Arctogadus glacialis, recognized additionally with ambiguous widespread names Arctic cod and polar cod, is an Arctic species of fish within the cod household Gadidae, associated with the true cod (genus Gadus).

Arctic Cod Profile

Arctogadus glacialis is present in icy water. They develop to about 30 cm lengthy, and our favorite meals of narwhals and different arctic whales.

The arctic cod is a slender fish that grows to the most size of 30 cm, with populations within the North having a bigger body dimension than those within the South.

For instance, off the coast of northern Labrador, the arctic cod is usually 25 to 30 cm, whereas people off jap Newfoundland not often exceed 18 cm in size.

Though this species has the same look as different codfishes, it’s simply acknowledged by its slender physique, deeply forked tail, projecting mouth, and small chin barbels.

It’s plainly colored, brownish, noticed above, and silvery on the stomach. Its typical, cod-like fins are virtually black, with a pale streak on the base.

Widespread names

The widespread names “Arctic cod” and “polar cod” can discuss with both Arctogadus glacialis or Boreogadus saida, and “Arctic cod” can also discuss with Eleginus nawaga.

One other Arctic gadid, the East Siberian cod (Arctogadus borisovi), was till lately thought-about the closest relative of A. glacialis. It has, nonetheless, been discovered to not be distinct from A. glacialis, and must be included in this species.

In keeping with this outcome, Arctogadus is a monotypic genus. Nevertheless, Arctogadus is a detailed relative of Boreogadus, and may maybe be included in that genus.


Arctic cod is totally white in look and has been cited to develop as much as 32.5 cm (12.8 in) in the whole size.

It has been distinguished from different cod species by its lack of chin barbel.

Populations of Arctic cod beforehand referred to the East Siberian cod nonetheless do have a chin barbel and develop as much as 50–60 cm size.

Arctic cod might be distinguished from their warm-water cousins by their elongated physique and protruding decrease jaw, in addition to their v-shaped tail.

They’re significantly smaller than different cod, rising to solely about 30 centimeters in size. In addition, they are typically smaller the farther south they’re discovered.

They’ve brown backs noticed with black, silvery sides and bellies, and pale lateral strains working alongside both sides of the physique from head to tail. Their scales are very small.

In Arctic waters, cod is a part of this necessary meal chain: algae get vitamins from the water and vitality from the solar; tiny animals like copepods eat the algae.

Arctic cod and different fish eat them; greater fish like char eat the cod; seals, narwhals, belugas, and folks eat the fish.


The Arctic cod is broadly distributed within the western part of the Arctic basin and the northwest and northeast coasts of Greenland.

Its vary is between 85° and 72°N latitude. Arctic cod might be discovered at depths of as much as 1000 m, and often below the ice.

The arctic cod has a circumpolar distribution and happens farther north than every other marine fish. Its huge distribution spans the Arctic seas off northern Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

Fish earlier attributed to the East Siberian cod are discovered off the western half of the Canadian coast and the coasts of Siberia and likewise of the northern and southern coasts of Greenland.

The fish lives near the ocean flooring at depths of 15 to 40 m, nevertheless, it generally enters estuaries, and can also be discovered below pack ice.

The species is of minor business worth. The arctic cod has a circumpolar distribution and happens farther north than every other marine fish. Its huge distribution spans the Arctic seas off northern Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

In Canada, it frequents the Beaufort Sea, the Arctic Archipelago, Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay, and alongside the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland.

Arctic cod are common on the water’s floor, however, in addition, they happen at depths under 900 meters.

In ice-free waters, this fish varieties gigantic faculties, however when below the ice, it prefers a tough under-surface the place it will probably conceal within the cracks.


A. glacialis in an ice-free space off northeastern Greenland have been discovered to feed virtually solely on pelagic prey (primarily copepods, amphipods, and mysids).

Grownup cod are omnivorous carnivores, which implies that they feed on any animal that they will engulf.

Their menu consists of bristle-worms, mussels, squids, crustaceans, and fishes comparable to sand eel, Norway pout, capelin, sticklebacks, sprat, and herring.

Arctic cod eat krill and different aquatic invertebrates. Beluga whales eat primarily fish, comparable to Arctic cod. Clams eat algae.

Walruses want mollusks – primarily bivalves comparable to clams.

In addition, they eat many different kinds of benthic invertebrates together with worms, gastropods, cephalopods, crustaceans, sea cucumbers, and different soft-bodied animals. Walruses might often prey on fishes comparable to polar cod.

arctic cod


They eat a wide range of prey, together with a number of species of bony fishes, American lobsters, and different invertebrates.

Grownup Atlantic cod are solely eaten by giant sharks, however, juveniles are eaten by a wide range of medium-sized predators and are sometimes even eaten by cannibalistic adults.

Within the polar waters of northern Canada, arctic cod spawn annually within the late fall and early winter.

Amazingly, as much as 10% of a male’s physique weight consists of gonads! At spawning time, females produce from 9000 to 21,000 eggs which are 1.5 mm in diameter.

Nevertheless, little is thought about its mating behavior.

The arctic cod favors temperatures under 4°C and it is among the few fish that thrive in temperatures under 0°C.

Antifreeze proteins in its blood are one adaptation accountable for this potential.

With its widespread distribution and abundance, this fish is a key part of Arctic meal webs and is a major meal supply for narwhals, belugas, ringed seals, and seabirds.

It’s also preyed upon by different fishes comparable to arctic charr, Greenland halibut, and Atlantic salmon.

Arctic cod are the principal customers of plankton within the higher water column (not like their relative, the Atlantic cod, which feeds on the underside).

As they develop, they graduate from a food plan of copepods to a food plan of marine worms, grownup copepods, shrimp and should even turn into cannibalistic.

With a standard lifespan of not more than six years, they’re comparatively short-lived.

The age of an arctic cod might be decided by counting annual rings of progress in its otoliths, the tiny bones of their internal ear, very similar to counting the rings of a tree.

The arctic cod shouldn’t be commercially harvested in Canada, however is taken into account as a wonderful desk fish in Russia.

Offshore fishing boats from Russia typically haul in giant numbers of those fish as a by-catch of the capelin fishery.

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