Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
Stickleback family - gasterosteidae, pp. 775-786 PDF (5.3 MB)
Stickleback Family- Gasterosteidae Two species of sticklebacks in two genera are known from Wisconsin. Members of this family occur in North America, northern and central Asia, and Europe. Six species in five genera are found in the United States and Canada (Robins et al. 1980). Of these, two species are strictly coastal saltwater forms, three occupy shallow, inshore areas of marine waters and fresh waters, and only one is a strictly freshwater form. The sticklebacks are a family of small, scaleless fishes with well-devel- oped pelvic spines and isolated dorsal spines. Lateral bony plates are often developed. The pelvic girdles are generally large, and the pectoral fins are fanlike, set high on the sides, and have their bases in a vertical line. The behavioral patterns of our Wisconsin species, the brook stickle- back and the ninespine stickleback, are quite elaborate. Their behavior is similar to that of the threespine stickleback, whose behavior has been studied intensively for many years and is perhaps better understood than the behavior of most animals known to man. Pertinent references dealing with the biology of sticklebacks are provided by Reisman and Cade (1967) and Wootton (1976). 775
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