Latin name

Microgadus tomcod

Other names

Tomcod; French: poulamon atlantique; Spanish: microgado.


Characteristic of the cod family, the Atlantic tomcod has three dorsal and two anal fins, which are rounded, as is the tail fin. The body is heavy, and the mouth is large, subterminal. The eyes are small. The coloration of the back is olive-brown, lighter underneath, and the sides are heavily mottled with black spots. The fins have a wavy or mottled pattern. Atlantic tomcod can be distinguished from Atlantic cod by its long, tapering pelvic fins and smaller body.


The Atlantic tomcod inhabits waters along the coast of North America from Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence south to Virginia. It is widespread north of Long Island.


The Atlantic tomcod lives mostly along the coast, but is known to enter freshwater rivers in winter. It is also landlocked in some Canadian lakes. It lives close to the bottom and is usually found in depths of 2-3 fathoms.


A small species that can be classified as a saltwater fish, the Atlantic tomcod reaches an average of 6 to 12 inches in length. It can weigh up to 1 pound.

Life history and Behavior

The Atlantic tomcod spawning period lasts from November to February. It spawns in brackish or salt water. The eggs sink to the bottom and attach to algae and rocks.

Food and feeding habits

The Atlantic tomcod uses its chin and pelvic fins to locate and inspect food. It feeds on small shrimps, amphipods, worms, clams, squid, and small fish.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Gadiformes
Family Gadidae
Genus Microgadus
Species M. tomcod
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Littoral
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 0.4
Maximum length, cm 35.56
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Tomcod, Atlantic

Tags: Tomcod, Atlantic