Latin name

Molva molva

Other names

White lin, ling


These fish have an elongated body and a long head  large mouth, which has large teeth, with the upper jaw projecting beyond the lower jaw, which bears an obvious sensory barbel.  The chin tendril is longer than the diameter of the eye. 

Features of fish fins

The pelvic fins are in front of the pectoral fins. The caudal fin is rounded. Two dorsal fins: the first has 13 to 16 and the second 59 to 70 soft rays, the anal fin has 57 to 66 soft rays.

Fish colouring

Back and head reddish brown, sides slightly lighter, belly yellow to white. Posterior parts of dorsal, anal and caudal fins are black with a pale edge.


Lives in coastal areas of the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Scandinavia and Iceland to the Bay of Biscay, also in the North Sea and Skagerrak. Occurs in the western Mediterranean.


Marine, benthic fish. Occurs at depths of 100 to 1000 m, usually 100 to 400 m. 


The length of these fish is up to 1.8 m, more rarely up to 2 m, the weight up to 45 kg.


Lives near the bottom on rocky soils, does not form large clusters.

Food and feeding habits

Predatory, feeding on other fish (herring, cod, flounder) as well as large crustaceans, cephalopods and starfish.


Males become sexually mature in the 5th year of life with a body length of 80 cm and females in the 5-6th year with a body length of 90-100 cm. Spawning takes place from March to July at depths of 50 to 300 m at temperatures of 6-10 °C. A female lays between 6 and 60 million eggs. The eggs are pelagic with a fat droplet about 1 mm in diameter. The juveniles spend the first 3 years in the pelagial near the coast at a depth of 15-20 m and then move to deeper waters and adopt a benthic lifestyle.


It is used in cooking, harvested using bottom trawls, gill nets and longlines. 

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Gadiformes
Family Lotidae
Genus Molva
Species M. molva
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 2
Maximum length, cm 45
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

Write a comment

Note: HTML is not translated!
    Bad           Good

Common ling

Tags: common ling