Agonus cataphractus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Hook-nose, Armed Bullhead or Pogge

Agonus cataphractus

Description: The pogge is a very distinctive and easily recognised fish. Instead of being covered in scales the body is covered in hard, bony plates and is only flexible to a limited degree. There is a strong spine on each gill cover and a pair of hooked spines on the pointed snout. Perhaps the most characteristic feature of the pogge are the numerous short barbels on the underside of the head. These barbels help the fish locate food e.g. small crustaceans and other bottom-living invertebrates. The coloration is usually dark greyish-brown with four or five darker saddles across the back and the underside is creamy-white. In the breeding season the pectoral fins are tinged with orange. Adult fish can grow to 20cm in length although most are between 10-15cm.

Habitat: The pogge is most frequently encountered on sandy or muddy seabeds at depths between 20 to several hundred metres. It feeds on bottom-living invertebrates especially small crustaceans, worms, molluscs and brittle-stars.

Distribution: This species is widespread all around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Similar Species: Unlikely to be confused with any other species.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Agonus cataphractus (Linnaeus, 1758). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland.
https://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZG4480 Accessed on 2024-05-30

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