• WordNet 3.6
    • n stickleback small (2-4 inches) pugnacious mostly scaleless spiny-backed fishes of northern fresh and littoral waters having elaborate courtship; subjects of much research
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Stickleback (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of small fishes of the genus Gasterosteus and allied genera. The back is armed with two or more sharp spines. They inhabit both salt and brackish water, and construct curious nests. Called also sticklebag sharpling, and prickleback.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n stickleback Any fish of the family Gasterosteidæ: so called from the sharp spines of the back. They are small fishes, a few inches long, of 5 genera, Gasterosteus, Pygosteus, Eucalia, Apeltes, and Spinachia. but very pugnacious and rapacious, being especially destructive to the spawn and fry of many larger fishes. They inhabit fresh waters and sea-arms of northern Europe, Asia, and North America to the number of nearly 20 species. The common two- or three-spined stickleback, banstickle, burnstickle, or tittlebat, is G. aculeatus, 4 inches long. Another is the nine-or ten-spined, Pygosteus pungitius. The fifteen-spined stickleback, or sea-stickleback, is Spinachia vulgaris, of the northerly coasts of Europe, a marine species, from 5 to 7 inches long, of very slender elongate form, with a tubular snout. They are among the most characteristic fishes of the northern hemisphere in the colder regions. Except in the breeding-season, they live in shoals, and are sometimes numerous enough to become of commercial value for their oil or for manure. They are noted for the construction of elaborate nests which the male builds for the eggs, in which several females often or generally deposit their burden. The eggs are comparatively few, and while being hatched are assiduously guarded by the male. The local or popular synonyms of the sticklebacks are numerous, among them prickleback, sprickleback, stickling, and sharpling.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Stickleback a small river-fish so called from the spines on its back
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. & Prov E. stickle, a prickle, spine, sting (AS. sticel,) + back,. See Stick (v. t.), and cf. Banstickle
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A dim. of stick (n.).


In literature:

I'm not worrying about sticklebacks tonight.
"Dope" by Sax Rohmer
The first stickleback was a splendid fellow, with fabulous red and blue gills.
"Tom Brown's Schooldays" by Thomas Hughes
The sticklebacks taught their art to the bass, who became much more expert.
"In Midsummer Days and Other Tales" by August Strindberg
He has a seaside cousin, the fifteen-spined Stickleback, who is also a nest-builder.
"Within the Deep" by R. Cadwallader Smith
He remembered a copse yellow with primroses, a pond where he had fished for sticklebacks, a bank with a robin's nest in it.
"Antony Gray,--Gardener" by Leslie Moore
In the case of the stickleback, the father even makes a nest to contain the eggs.
"The Renewal of Life; How and When to Tell the Story to the Young" by Margaret Warner Morley
What is a stickleback, I ask you?
"The Pond" by Carl Ewald
The first stickleback was a splendid fellow, with fabulous red and blue gills.
"Tom Brown at Rugby" by Thomas Hughes
Describe the nests of the following: stickleback fish, sunfish.
"A Guide for the Study of Animals" by Worrallo Whitney
Nobody can truthfully say that the Sticklebacks are not good fathers.
"Among the Pond People" by Clara Dillingham Pierson

In news:

There's only one gift that has the power to make your sweetheart chase you like a love-drunk civet cat or dart around you in circles like an amorous stickleback.
Examine one such example, the genetic basis of pelvic reduction in the threespine stickleback fish (2004).

In science:

For instance, six sticklebacks were put in a tank where the rate of water flea input was twice as large at one end than at the other .
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
After a short time, four sticklebacks could be found at the end with the larger flea supply, while the remaining two fish were at the other end.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
Breakup of a joint enterprise upon onset of exploitation is also found in sticklebacks who approach their predator, most likely in order to gain some information, in pairs of two.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
Tit for tat in sticklebacks and the evolution of cooperation.
Stochastic evolutionary game dynamics
Brady, et al., 2011 A Genomewide SNP Genotyping Array Reveals Patterns of Global and Repeated Species-Pair Divergence in Sticklebacks.
Robust identification of local adaptation from allele frequencies