Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculaeatus)

There are two common types of sickleback in Britain, the two and the three spined.The most commonly found is the three spined version.inspection shows this fish has two obvious long spines on the back and a third smaller one in front.The stickleback also has a single spike on either side of its body,This helps as a great defence against predators.The females are generally greenish in colour,with yellow and silver flecks.The male stickleback when in mating season is a very colourful fish indeed.It has pearcing blue eyes, a bright red throat and a blue-ish body.There is also a nine spinned stickleback which is found in various places in Britain but in very small numbers


The stickle back varieties tend to live in small streams, ponds or slow moving rivers. They are also not great swimmers and would not survive in rivers with fast currents.In fact the species picture below was caught by myself,by hand, in a stream that is just two feet wide and 4 inches deep.

Feeding habits

sticklebacks are carnivorous, They tend to feed mostly on worms, insect larvae and other small fish.

Fish facts

Weight: Up to 0.007 kgs
Average Length: up to 40mm
Life-span: Unknown - Lots of sticklback, both male and female tend to die through stress after the mating season each year.
Favourite waters: Streams,ponds,slow moving rivers and some lakes.
Favourite baits: worms,squatts
UK Record: 0.0.0 (D Flack 1998)