Esox masquinongy

  • Scientific name
  • Esox masquinongy (Mitchill, 1824)

  • Common name
  • Muskellunge

  • Family
  • Esocidae

  • External links
  • Fishbase
Trait completeness 72%
Total data141
References25
Image of Esox masquinongy

Author: Fabrice Téletchéa
License: All rights reserved

Traits detail



Egg (100%)


Trait id Trait Primary data Secondary Data References
4 Egg adhesiveness Non-adhesive Non-Adhesive Dombeck, 1984
4 Egg adhesiveness Apparently non-adhesive Non-Adhesive Scott and Crossman, 1973
4 Egg adhesiveness Sticky Adhesive Fishbase, 2006
4 Egg adhesiveness Eggs incubate on vegetation and debris at spawning site Non-Adhesive Goodyear, 1982
4 Egg adhesiveness Adhesive Adhesive Kunz, 2004
4 Egg adhesiveness Adhesive Adhesive Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
4 Egg adhesiveness Before the eggs become adhesive, they are rinsed quickly three times Adhesive Sorenson, 1966
4 Egg adhesiveness Non-adhesive eggs Non-Adhesive Wright and Shoesmith, 1988
5 Incubation time 8-14 days at 11.7-17.2 11.0 days Scott and Crossman, 1973
5 Incubation time 8-15 days at 50-62°F 11.5 days Goodyear, 1982
5 Incubation time 8-14 11.0 days Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
5 Incubation time 8-14 at 53-63 °F 11.0 days Wynne, 2006
5 Incubation time Require 10 days to hatch at 15°C 10.0 days Farrell, 2005
5 Incubation time Eggs hatch in 2 to 3 weeks 2.0 days Clemmons and Newman, 1997
7 Degree-days for incubation 130-160 [8-14 days at 11.7-17.2] 145.0 °C * day Scott and Crossman, 1973
6 Temperature for incubation 11.7-17.2 14.45 °C Scott and Crossman, 1973
6 Temperature for incubation 9-13 [Optimum temperature for incubation ranges between 48 and 55°F] 11.0 °C Wynne, 2006
6 Temperature for incubation Eggs were incubated in 5l McDonald jars at 13-15°C in semi-recirculated system 14.0 °C Rinchard, 2002
6 Temperature for incubation Water temperature was 12-14°C during incubation 13.0 °C Dabrowski, 2000
2 Egg size after water-hardening 3.1-3.4 (mean=3.32, N=33) 3.25 mm Farrell, 1996
2 Egg size after water-hardening 2.5-3.3 2.9 mm Billard, 1996
2 Egg size after water-hardening 2.5-3.5 [Fertilized eggs] 3.0 mm Scott and Crossman, 1973
2 Egg size after water-hardening 2.5-3.5 3.0 mm Mittelbach and Persson, 1998
2 Egg size after water-hardening During this time the fertilized eggs double their volume No data Sorenson, 1966
2 Egg size after water-hardening Range from 2.5 to 2.7 2.5 mm Rinchard, 2002
3 Egg Buoyancy Demersal Demersal Dombeck, 1984
3 Egg Buoyancy Semidermersal Demersal Scott and Crossman, 1973
3 Egg Buoyancy Demersal Demersal Fishbase, 2006
3 Egg Buoyancy Fertilized eggs drop into the vegetation No category Kerr and Grant, 1999
3 Egg Buoyancy Demersal Demersal Kunz, 2004
3 Egg Buoyancy The eggs are released to fall as they will No category Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
1 Oocyte diameter 2.0-2.5 (mean =2.3) 2.25 mm Lebeau, 1991

Larvae (86%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
11 Temperature during larval development 14-18 [Optimum incubation temperature of 58-65°F] 16.0 °C Wynne, 2006
11 Temperature during larval development Larvae were reared at 13-15°C before transfer into ponds 14.0 °C Rinchard, 2002
11 Temperature during larval development 20 ± 1 20.0 °C Anonymou,s 1982
12 Sibling intracohort cannibalism If the grading extends over too long a period, cannibalism takes its toll of fish Present Sorenson, 1966
12 Sibling intracohort cannibalism At that stage of development, the muskellunge were progressing from the larval to the juvenile period, and cannibalism was first detected Present Anonymous, 1982
13 Full yolk-sac resorption Yolk remained along the ventral portion of the oesophagus and intestine and was present until the fourth day of feeding No data Anonymous, 1982
14 Onset of exogeneous feeding Require 13.3 days at 15°C for larvae to swim-up 13.3 °C * day Farrell, 2005
14 Onset of exogeneous feeding By 3 weeks of age the young begin to feed on other fish 3.0 °C * day Clemmons and Newman, 1997
14 Onset of exogeneous feeding Food was given to the larvae on the day they sawm up from the bottom of the tanks (9 days after hatching) and each day thereafter (at 20°C) 9.0 °C * day Anonymous, 1982
8 Initial larval size 9.5-10.3 9.9 mm Scott and Crossman, 1973
8 Initial larval size 9.5-10.3 9.9 mm Mittelbach and Persson, 1998
9 Larvae behaviour Newly hatched young lack the swim-up and vegetation-attachment behavior characteristic of other esocid larvae. Instead they remain quiescent at the bottom, becoming active only after yolk-sac cosumption Demersal Dombeck, 1984
9 Larvae behaviour May remain dormant in the vegetation for about 10 days or until the yolk is consumed, at which they become active and begin feeding Demersal Scott and Crossman, 1973
9 Larvae behaviour Prolarvae remain among vegetation for about 10 days Demersal Goodyear, 1982
9 Larvae behaviour The fry attach themselves to sunken debris as they absorb their egg sacs Demersal Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
9 Larvae behaviour Five days after the larvae swam up from the bottom Demersal Anonymous, 1982

Female (50%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
18 Female sexual dimorphism Female are typically larger than males Absent Wynne, 2006
19 Relative fecundity 12-197 104.5 thousand eggs/kg Mittelbach and Persson, 1998
27 Age at sexual maturity 4-6 5.0 years Crossman, 1990
27 Age at sexual maturity 3-5 [No apparent difference in age at attainment of maturity] 4.0 years Scott and Crossman, 1973
27 Age at sexual maturity Muskellunge are sexually mature between 3 and 5 years of age, and males mature before females 3.0 years Clemmons and Newman, 1997
21 Oocyte development Group-synchronous Group-synchronous Lebeau, 1991
20 Absolute fecundity 6-265 [Usual number of about 120] 135.5 thousand eggs Scott and Crossman, 1973
20 Absolute fecundity 22-186 for female 25 to 53 inches long 104.0 thousand eggs Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
20 Absolute fecundity Mature female fish produce approximatively 120,000 eggs 120.0 thousand eggs Wynne, 2006
20 Absolute fecundity Females willl deposit 200,000 to 300,000 eggs during spawning 200.0 thousand eggs Clemmons and Newman, 1997
16 Length at sexual maturity 77 [Female] 77.0 cm Fishbase, 2006
16 Length at sexual maturity On the basis of spring trapnet catches during spawning (1999-2000), female muskellunge captured at 864-965 mm (34-38 inches) were sexually mature 1999.5 cm Farrell, 2005
15 Age at sexual maturity 5-7 6.0 year Crossman, 1990
15 Age at sexual maturity 3-5 [No apparent difference in age at attainment of maturity] 4.0 year Scott and Crossman, 1973
15 Age at sexual maturity 5-7 6.0 year Farrell, 2005
15 Age at sexual maturity Muskellunge are sexually mature between 3 and 5 years of age, and males mature before females 3.0 year Clemmons and Newman, 1997

Male (22%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
28 Length at sexual maturity 67 [Male] 67.0 cm Fishbase, 2006

Spawning conditions (100%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
47 Mating system One female with one, or at times two smaller males Monogamy Scott and Crossman, 1973
47 Mating system Adults pair off at spawning time, usually one large female with one ot two smaller males No category Kerr and Grant, 1999
47 Mating system Female mate with one or more males No category Wynne, 2006
46 Nycthemeral period of oviposition Daytime Day Scott and Crossman, 1973
46 Nycthemeral period of oviposition They spawn at night Night Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
50 Parental care Nonguarders No care Fishbase, 2006
50 Parental care Receive no parental care No care Clemmons and Newman, 1997
44 Spawning substrate Frequently spawns in vegetated areas but also dense beds of stonewort growing over floculent marl substrate. Different types of spawning habitat are utilized in different waters Ambiguous Dombeck, 1984
44 Spawning substrate Heavy vegetated flooded areas No category Scott and Crossman, 1973
44 Spawning substrate Spawning activity usually occurs in heavily vegetated flooded areas No category Kerr and Grant, 1999
44 Spawning substrate Phytophils Phytophils Balon, 1975
44 Spawning substrate Over mud, muck, clay, or sand with decayed vegetation and woody debris, including brush, logs and stumps Ambiguous Goodyear, 1982
44 Spawning substrate Underwater stumps and logs on a muck bottom Pelagophils Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
44 Spawning substrate Over muck and detritus substrates No category Miller and Menzel, 1986
44 Spawning substrate Over organic sediment, woody debris, and submersed vegetation Phytophils Rust, 2002
45 Spawning site preparation No nest is built Open water/substratum scatter Scott and Crossman, 1973
45 Spawning site preparation Open water/substratum egg scatterers Open water/substratum scatter Fishbase, 2006
45 Spawning site preparation Fertilized eggs are scattered at random No category Kerr and Grant, 1999
45 Spawning site preparation Open substratum spawner Open water/substratum scatter Balon, 1975
45 Spawning site preparation Eggs are scattered No category Goodyear, 1982
45 Spawning site preparation The fertilized eggs are scattered into the vegetation No category Wynne, 2006
45 Spawning site preparation Eggs are scattered No category Clemmons and Newman, 1997
41 Spawning temperature 7.5-15 11.25 °C Farrell, 1996
41 Spawning temperature 9.4-15 [Optimum is 12.8°C] 12.2 °C Scott and Crossman, 1973
41 Spawning temperature 9.5-15 12.25 °C Mittelbach and Persson, 1998
41 Spawning temperature 9.4-15, other authors: 8-10.5°C, 7.8-13°C, 12.8 optimal 12.2 °C Kerr and Grant, 1999
41 Spawning temperature At 46-65°F, 8-18°C 55.5 °C Goodyear, 1982
41 Spawning temperature In high 50 to 60 °F, i.e. 10-15.5°C 12.75 °C Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
41 Spawning temperature Between 49 and 59°F, i.e. 9.5-15°C 12.25 °C Wynne, 2006
41 Spawning temperature Spawning generally occurs at 9 to 15°C 9.0 °C Miller and Menzel, 1986
41 Spawning temperature Water temperatures ranged from 7 to 17°C, and spawning peaked at 10-13°C 11.5 °C Farrell, 2005
41 Spawning temperature When water temperature warm to 50 degrees Farhenheit and remain that warm for several days 50.0 °C Clemmons and Newman, 1997
40 Spawning period duration 4-5 4.5 weeks Farrell, 1996
40 Spawning period duration Spawning usually last no more than a week No data Scott and Crossman, 1973
40 Spawning period duration The presence of muskellunge on spawning grounds, based on trapnet captures of over 280 adults (from 1990 to 2003), was observed between 26 April and June 13 280.0 weeks Farrell, 2005
42 Spawning water type Spawn on shoals in the main river, with water velocity greater than 0.1 m/s Flowing or turbulent water Farrell, 1996
42 Spawning water type Flooded areas No category Scott and Crossman, 1973
42 Spawning water type Usually spawn at either the upper or lower ends of low gradient pools No category Kerr and Grant, 1999
42 Spawning water type Protected bays, harbors, marshes, stream mouths, feeder streams, and flooded lowlands, also in current-swept areas at edges of channels Flowing or turbulent water Goodyear, 1982
42 Spawning water type Lakes and rivers which have dense, aquatic or flooded terrestrial vegetation Stagnant water Wynne, 2006
42 Spawning water type The upper river muskellunge spawning distribution is usually restricted to bays and coastal marshes in shallow waters < 1.5 m deep No category Farrell, 2005
42 Spawning water type Shallow pools close to moving water No category Clemmons and Newman, 1997
43 Spawning depth Water deeper than 1 m 1.0 m Farrell, 1996
43 Spawning depth Areas 37-50 deep up to over 3 m 43.5 m Dombeck, 1984
43 Spawning depth 30-50 cm [15-20 inches deep] 40.0 m Scott and Crossman, 1973
43 Spawning depth Water 38-51 cm in depth [Sometimes up to 3 meters deep] 44.5 m Kerr and Grant, 1999
43 Spawning depth 6 inches 15 feet, usually less than 3 feet 6.0 m Goodyear, 1982
43 Spawning depth Shallow water, often just six to 12 inches deep 12.0 m Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
43 Spawning depth Shallow water (less than 1 m deep) 1.0 m Miller and Menzel, 1986
43 Spawning depth Occurs in shallow water (less than 1 m deep) 1.0 m Rust, 2002
43 Spawning depth Shallow No data Clemmons and Newman, 1997
36 Spawning migration distance Relatively long-distance spawning migrations have been documented No data Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
37 Spawning migration period Make estensive migrations into tributaries, often to the headwaters, or to lake shallows, when the water temperature rises to 42°F, following ice breakup No data Goodyear, 1982
37 Spawning migration period Move to spawning sites at temperatures from 8.3-9.0°C No data Kerr and Grant, 1999
37 Spawning migration period During winter, lake fish occupy depper water and are relatively quiescent. In early spring, before any rise in water temperature, there is a general increase in activity. As water temperatures rise above about 5°C, this movement directed toward upstream or shallow bay and shoreline spawning areas ['April', 'March', 'January', 'May', 'June', 'February'] Miller and Menzel, 1986
37 Spawning migration period Muskellunge typically have a protracted spawning run in the St Lawrence River from early May to mid-June ['May', 'June'] Farrell, 2005
39 Spawning season Begin 13 May, peaked on 23 May, until 12 June ['May', 'June'] Farrell, 1996
39 Spawning season Spring spawner ususally in late April to late May [Spawns shortly after the ice has smelted] ['April', 'May'] Scott and Crossman, 1973
39 Spawning season March to May ['March', 'May'] Fishbase, 2006
39 Spawning season Spring spawner, spawns shortly after ice has melted in late April or early May ['April', 'May'] Kerr and Grant, 1999
39 Spawning season Late March-June, but usually May and June ['March', 'May', 'June'] Goodyear, 1982
39 Spawning season Spawn in the spring, after the northern pike ['April', 'May', 'June'] Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
39 Spawning season Spring No data Wynne, 2006
39 Spawning season Broodstock were captured on three seperate occassions (spanwing 15, 21, and 22 April 1998). ['April'] Rinchard, 2002
39 Spawning season Spawning occurs early in the spring ['April', 'May', 'June'] Clemmons and Newman, 1997
38 Homing At Stony Lake, muskellunge do home to particular grounds Present Crossman, 1990
38 Homing Reproductive homing to the same spawning area from year to year is reported Present Kerr and Grant, 1999
38 Homing Adults tend to return to the same spawning locations each year Present Pennslylvania fishes, 2006
38 Homing Reproductive and nonreproductive homing behavior Present Miller and Menzel, 1986
38 Homing Spawning sites fidelity was observed for radiotracked muskellunge through returns to locations over two successive years. Subsequent data on tagging and recapture of trapnetted spawning adults corroborates this finding. Of 33 fish tagged and recaptured during spawning over many years, all were recaptured at the location of original of original tagging Present Farrell, 2005
48 Spawning release Fractionnal spawner, producing two clutches of eggs per year No category Lebeau, 1991
48 Spawning release The spawning act is carried out many times at irregular intervals over several days Mutliple Scott and Crossman, 1973
48 Spawning release Fractional spawner Fractional Lenhardt and Cakic, 2002
49 Parity Males return to lake when water temperatures reaches about 60°F, females remain in river channels several weeks and return to lake in mid-August Iteroparous Goodyear, 1982
49 Parity There is typically postspawning movement dowstream or to somewhat deeper ater, where the fish may enventually summer home ranges No category Miller and Menzel, 1986
49 Parity Muskellunge may live to be 8 to 10 years old No category Clemmons and Newman, 1997