three-spined stickleback

Scientific name Gasterosteus aculeatus
Descriptor Linnaeus
Year of description 1758
IUCN category LC
Family Gasterosteidae
Genus Gasterosteus
Gasterosteus aculeatus Gasterosteus aculeatus


Gasterosteus aculeatus, commonly known as three-spined stickleback, is a fresh water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    4 cm
  • Maximum size
    10 cm
  • Longevity
    4 year
  • Average size
    4 cm
  • Maximum size
    10 cm
  • Longevity
    4 year

How to recognize the three-spined stickleback ?

The three-spined stickleback measures between 4 and 10 cm. This fish is bicolore with a predominantly bleu and argent body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
    living in small groups
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The three-spined stickleback is a fish living in small groups. This species is carnivorous .

Although the three-spined stickleback is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert

The three-spined stickleback is a fish ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    4 - 20 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    6 - 7
  • gh (hardness)
    1 - 6

Biotope presentation

The three-spined stickleback is most often found at a depth between 0m and 1m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Patrick Chartrer

Patrick Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

Les Poissons d'eau douce de France - Eric Feunteun - Jean Allardi - Philippe Keith - Biotope Edition - 2011. Collection Inventaires & Biodiversité, publication scientifique du Muséum

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Where to see this species?

Species of the same biotope

Scientific partners

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