The Merlucciidae are a family of cod-like fish, including most hakes.[1] They are native to cold water in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and typically are found at depths greater than 50 m (160 ft) in subtropical, temperate, sub-Arctic or sub-Antarctic regions.

Silver hake, Merluccius bilinearis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gadiformes
Family: Merlucciidae
T. N. Gill, 1884


The best known species are in the genera Macruronus and Merluccius. These predatory fish are up to 1.55 m (5 ft 1 in) in length, though most only reach about half that length, inhabiting the waters of the continental shelf and upper continental slope, where they feed on small fish such as lanternfishes. Several species are important commercial fish, for example the blue grenadier (Macruronus novaezelandiae) that is fished in the southwest Pacific and the North Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) that is fished off western North America.

The taxonomy of the Merluccidae is not settled, with some authorities raising two or three subfamilies, the Merluccinae, Macruroninae,[2] and Steindachneriinae, while other authorities raise the latter two into their own families, the Macruronidae and the monotypic Steindachneriidae.[3]

This would mean the genera would be arranged as:[3]

  • Steindachneriidae
    • Steindachneria
  • Macruronidae
    • Lyconodes
    • Lyconus
    • Macruronus
  • Merlucciidae ss
    • Merluccius


  1. Lloris, Domingo (2005). Hakes of the world (family Merlucciidae) : an annotated and illustrated catalogue of hake species known to date. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 92-5-104984-X. available for download at
  2. Alfredo Carvalho-Filho; Guy Marcovaldi; Claudio L.S. Sampaio; M. Isabel G. Paiva (2011). "First report of Macruronus novaezelandiae (Gadiformes, Merluccidae, Macruroninae) from Atlantic tropical waters" (PDF). Marine Biodiversity Records. 00; e0; 2011 Published online.
  3. Hiromitsu Endo (2002). "Phylogeny of the Order Gadiformes (Teleostei, Paracanthopterygii)" (PDF). Memoirs of the Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences Hokkaido University. 49 (2).

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