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  • Dut: Snotolf (Engelse lump, Kluft, Lump, Paddevis, Snotdolf, Steenkruiper, Steenzuiger, Strontvreter)
  • Lat: Cyclopterus lumpus
  • Eng: Lumpsucker
  • Ger: Seehase
  • Dan: Stenbider
Lumpsucker (left male, right young female), Ecomare


What so unusual is about the lumpsucker is the suction cup situated under the bellies of the adult animals. The lumpsucker uses this to fasten itself to the seabed. The fish is fairly common along the Dutch coast. Lumpsuckers grow up to a half meter long and a weight of 5 kilograms. They eat zooplankton and snails which live between stones and seaweed.

  • Dung eaters

    The lumpsucker has a round body with a short tail. The blunt head with small eyes and a large mouth gives one the impression that the fish is usually grumpy. The growth on its belly and its name (it is called 'dung-eater' in the south of the Netherlands) do not help contribute to a good image. Their true nature is actually very different.

  • Caring fathers

    Female lumpsuckers can grow up to a half meter in length; males usually stop at 30 centimeters.
    During mating season, the males have a florescent orange-purple color. They guard the octagonally shaped nest containing 200,000 eggs for the entire period. The eggs are laid in the tidal zone. They remain under water during ebb, however the oxygen supply is minimal. Father lumpsucker therefore floats above them and uses its fins to 'wave' fresh water towards the eggs. In this way, the eggs continue to get a sufficient amount of oxygen during low tide.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Distribution of the lumpsucker, Ecomare

    Lumpsuckers prefer a habitat with lots of current and a stony substrate, upon which they can attach themselves with their suction foot. However, you will also find them in the sandy southern North Sea.