Scientific name Phycis phycis
Descriptor Linnaeus
Year of description 1766
IUCN category LC
Family Gadidae
Genus Phycis
Phycis phycis Phycis phycis


Phycis phycis, commonly known as forkbeard, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    25 cm
  • Maximum size
    65 cm
  • Pattern
  • Average size
    25 cm
  • Maximum size
    65 cm
  • Pattern

How to recognize the forkbeard ?

This fish has the particularity to possess several pairs of barbels, which allow him to search the bottom and to detect the food thus moved.

The forkbeard measures between 25 and 65 cm. This fish is unicolore with a predominantly marron and gris body. The also has marron mottling.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
    living in a group or alone
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The forkbeard is a fish living in a group or alone naturally found near the bottom. This species is carnivorous . This fish lives mainly at night. Usually, it leaves its hiding place and starts to be active once it gets dark.

Although the forkbeard is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction

The forkbeard is a fish ovipare.

Harmless species

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

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    13 - 16 °C
  • Depth
    16 - 614 m

Biotope presentation

The forkbeard is most often found at a depth between 16m and 614m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

Species of the same family

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.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon


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.

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Species of the same family

Species of the same biotope

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