E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Lampetra tridentata (Richardson, 1836)
Pacific Lamprey
Family: Petromyzontidae
Photo of species

© Kathryn Clouston  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #80517)


Distribution of Lampetra tridentata in British Columbia.
Source: Distribution map provided by Don McPhail for E-Fauna BC
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Species Information

Characterized by the presence of 3 (rarely 2) large sharp teeth on the supraoral bar and three sharp points on each of the central lateral tooth plates (Ref. 27547). Dorsal fins arise far back on the body, the anterior fin lower and shorter, higher in males; lower lobe of caudal fin larger than upper, the lobes joined to dorsal and anal fins; anal fin rudimentary, virtually absent in males (Ref. 27547). Adults from the sea blue-black to greenish above, silvery to white below; spawning adults become reddish brown (Ref. 27547).

Source: FishBase. Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.

Biology

Species Biology

Spawning adults are found in gravel riffles and runs of clear coastal streams; feeding adults usually in the ocean, but landlocked populations occur (Ref. 1998); ammocoetes in silt, mud, and sand of shallow eddies and backwaters of streams (Ref. 5723). Parasitic adults attach themselves to the side or undersurface of its prey, from which it draws blood and body fluids as food. Preys on fishes and sperm whales (Ref. 6885). Stops feeding once upstream spawning migration is underway (Ref. 1998).

Source: FishBase. Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.

Distribution

BC Distribution and Notes

The relationships of non-migratory, freshwater populations of this species need clarification. Additionally, the upper Fraser population(s) needs to be examined. Also, there is strong evidence (Docker et al. 1999, Gill et al. 2003) that the Pacific lamprey does not belong in the genus Lampetra

Source: Information provided by Don McPhail for E-Fauna BC.
Global Distribution

North Pacific: Bering Sea coasts of Asia and Alaska southward to the Yuhutu River, Hokkaido, northern Japan and Punta Canoas, central Baja California, Mexico. The populations were, at one time, split into two groups (Ref. 10015) as Entosphenus tridentatus tridentatus which ranged from the Columbia River to Alaska, and Entosphenus tridentatus ciliatus which ranged from Klamath River southwards (Ref. 1998). This division no longer holds (Ref. 1998). Freshwater resident populations exist in Culrus Lake and the Columbia River, British Columbia, the Sprague River in Oregon, the Goose Lake in Oregon/California, and the Klamath and Shasta rivers and Copco Lake in California (Ref. 12269).

Source: FishBase. Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.
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Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
COSEWIC
NativeS5YellowNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References


Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-04-12 4:46:25 PM]
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