Fisheries and Land Resources

Black-spotted Stickleback

Gasterosteus wheatlandi


Native to Newfoundland and Labrador.


Both freshwater and saltwater, but in freshwater are usually restricted to the lower 100 yards of steams.


Occur along the Atlantic coast, from Newfoundland south to Massachusetts and Quebec.


Sticklebacks eat worms, small drowned insects, fish eggs, crustaceans and larvae.


Lemon-yellow, with distinct black spots or blotches; two spines on its back

Breeding Biology

Mating habits closely resembles those of the Three-spined Stickleback. Like the three-spined, males prefer to build their nests over sandy bottoms using small leaves and woody debris for construction materials. Black-spotted Stickleback mating differs from three-spined in three ways, ensuring reproductive isolation: it breeds in brackish waters; males have a different colour pattern; and the male-female behaviours differ from three-spined.

Spawning occurs in late spring, slightly later than the three-spined (usually late May to June). The courtship display is similar to the three-spined, with the male enticing the female into the nest, then driving the female away once she has deposited her eggs. Females are capable of laying 170 to 270 eggs.


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