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Esox

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(Redirected from Pike (fish))
Esox
Missing image
Esox_lucius.jpg
Northern pike


Northern pike (E. lucius)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Actinopterygii
Order:Esociformes
Family:Esocidae
Genus:Esox
Species

 E. americanus
      grass and redfin pickerels
 E. lucius – northern pike
 E. masquinongy – muskellunge
 E. niger – chain pickerel
 E. reichertii – Amur pike

Esox Linnaeus, 1758, is a genus of freshwater fish, the only member of the pike family (family Esocidae) of order Esociformes. The type species is E. lucius, the northern pike. The species of this genus are known as the pikes.

The pike species are native to the Palearctic and Nearctic ecozones, ranging across northern North America and from Western Europe to Siberia in Eurasia.

Pikes can grow to a maximum recorded length of 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in), reaching a maximum recorded weight of 35 kg (77 lb). Individuals have been reported to reach 30 years in age. They have the elongated, torpedo-like form of predatory fishes, with sharply-pointed heads and sharp teeth. Their coloration is typically grey-green with a mottled or spotted appearance.

The pikes are notoriously voracious carnivores and can be potential pests when introduced into alien ecosystems. They are prized as game fish for their determined fighting and have been food fish since ancient times. (See Fishing for pike.)

Name

The generic name Esox derives from the Greek ίσοξ (a kind of fish), itself a word of Celtic origin related to the Welsh og and Irish Gaelic iach (salmon). Pliny uses the Latin form esox in reference to a large fish in the Rhine normally identified with lax (salmon). It is likely that Carolus Linnaeus's application of Esox to the pikes is thus a misnomer.

Missing image
Esox_lucius_2.jpg
A young E. lucius specimen – a "pickerel" in the original sense – in an aquarium.

The English common name "pike" is an apparent shortening of "pike-fish", in reference to its pointed head, Old English pc originally referring to a pickaxe.

A northern English and Scots name for the pike, ged, similarly derives from Old Norse gaddr (spike) (cf. the modern Swedish name for the pike, gdda).

The English "pike" originally referred specifically to the adult fish, the diminuitive form "pickerel" (now used to name some of the smaller pikes, E. americanus and E. niger) referring to the young. The walleye (Sander vitreus) is sometimes called a pickerel, but it is unrelated to the pikes, being a member of the perch family (family Percidae). The pikes are not to be confused with the unrelated pikeminnows (formerly known as "squawfish") of genus Ptychocheilus (family Cyprinidae).

Two United States Navy submarines have been named Pike, SS-6 of 1903 and SS-173 of 1935, and three, SS-22 of 1912, SS-177 of 1936, and SS-524 of 1944, named Pickerel. In addition, the Soviet submarines known to NATO as the Victor III class were called the Shchuka (Щука, "pike") class, in Russian. The Soviet Iosef Stalin tank (IS-3) was also nicknamed Shchuka, in reference to its sharply pointed hull front.


References

fr:Brochet nl:Snoeken

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