2016 to 2018
Program type
Regional - National
Scientific cooperation

People involved

Cartographie des espèces de brochet récemment recensées en France : le brochet aquitain Esox aquitanicus et le brochet italien Esox cisalpinus


Since 2014, recent discoveriesµ in taxonomy on French freshwater ichthyofauna demonstrated the Northern pike Esox lucius Linnaeus 1758 was not the only species of this genus in France. Two other species were also recorded: the cisalpin pike Esox cisalpinus Bianco & Delmastro 2011 in the peri-alpin lakes in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century and, tha aquitanian pike Esox aquitanicus Denys et al. 2014 which is endemic to the South-West of France.

The main aim of the project is to know better the distribution area of both pike species. Then, it consists to realize molecular identification using newt generation sequencing (NGS) at the theoretical distribution areas scale (Charente, Garonne, Eyre, Adour basins for E. aquitanicus, Geneva, Saint-André, Aiguebelette and Grand Large lakes for E. cisalpinus). For this, more than 700 specimens collected through the participation of the angling federations which were enlisted, constitute our sampling. Molecular identifications will be done on mitochondrial (cytb, Dloop) and nuclear (S7) markers in order to verify potential hybridization cases (proved between the Northern pike and the two other species).

This program is primordial for knowing biology and ecology of these two new described species. Once, the distribution map obtained, we will compare and define ecological characteristics in order to highlight preferenda of both species in France, that would allow to reeavaluate some models in ecology. These results will bring also some consequences on catchements management, particularly concerning the aquitanian pike. This patrimonial species for which the lowered distribution area makes it more sensible to the anthropic activities threats (habitat destruction/modification, quantitative water management, stocking).

* DENYS G.P.J., DETTAI A., PERSAT H., HAUTECOEUR M. & KEITH P., 2014. Morphological and molecular evidence of three species of pikes Esox spp (Actinopterygii, Esocidae) in France, including the description of a new species. C. R. Biol., 337: 521-534.

Funding: Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN), Agence Française pour la Biodiversité (AFB), Fédération Nationale pour la Pêche en France (FNPF)

Project Coordinator:

  • DETTAI, Agnès, maître de conférence MNHN,, Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité ISYEB, UMR 7205 CNRS, MNHN, UPMC, EPHE Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Universités.
  • PERSAT, Henri,, Écologie des Hydrosystèmes Naturels et Anthropisés, LEHNA UMR 5023, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1.
  • POULET, Nicolas,, Direction de l'Action Scientifique et Technique, Pôle Ecohydraulique Onema-IMFT.