Nine-spined Stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) of Pauline's Swamp

The commonest stickleback that everyone knows is the Three-spined. In Pauline's swamp is the less common nine-spined. But their spines are variable: usually nine or ten, rarely 8, 11 or 12, so it is also commonly called the Ten-spined Stickleback. Its spines are weak and offer little protection, it's a small fish, so it tends to live apart from other fish that would eat it. It can also live in waters that don't contain much oxygen, so it is more common in ponds. It also lives in shallow weedy lake edges, slow rivers and streams.

The photos are of fish taken from the pond: the grid in the background is 1cm squares to give an idea of their size.

There is also a movie of the Nine-spined Stickleback (Pungitius pungitius).

There are a lot of these in this pond, though they don't look well-fed. They breed in April to June: the male builds a nest in the weeds, made from pieces of weed stuck together by a secretion from his kidneys. He then entices a ripe female in to lay her eggs and he fertilizes them and guards them until they hatch. There seem to be few likely predators in this pond.

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Page first published Sunday the 20th of August, 2017
Last modified: Wed, 27 May 2020 12:03:46 BST
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