Sunday, August 18, 2019

Southern Barbel (Barbus meridionalis)

The Southern Barbel is a smaller fish, which grows to a length of about 30 cm. This also lives close to the river bed amongst strong, clean currents. The large spine in the dorsal fin is smooth- edged, the anal-fin is high and when depressed it touches the tail-fin base.

It is confined to certain areas in the northern part of the Iberian peninsula (which is also inhabited by its subspecies B. meridionalis graellsi), southern France, northern Italy, Albania and Greece. Another subspecies B. meridionalis petenyi lives in the rivers Oder, Vistula, Danube, Dniester, Vardar, Strymon and Maritsa.

Maximunz size and weight: 30 cm, 500 g.

Identifying characteristics: Long spine in dorsal fin smooth. High anal fin reaches tail fin when depressed.

About normal Barbel Barbus (barbus)

Barbel Barbus (barbus)

The Barbel grows up to 1 m in length and is a sturdy fish. It lives close to the river bed in strong currents and has a long, spindle-shaped body and a characteristically inferior-positioned mouth with four barbels. The long spine 'in the dorsal fin has a saw-like edge. The long rayed anal fin nearly reaches the tail fin. It spawns in May and June and migrates upstream to areas with a sandy or stony water bed. It is a schooling fish and feeds on the animals and plants of the water bed.

It inhabits western and central Europe, but is not found in Ireland, Denmark, Scandinavia and Italy. In the peripheral areas of its habitat it has produced numerous subspecies, for example in Spain, Dalmatia, eastern Bulgaria and the watersheds of the rivers Dniester, Dnieper and Bug.

Maximum size and weight: 1 m, 15 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Long spine of dorsal fin has serrated edge. Anal fin does not reach caudal fin. Mouth ventral, with four fleshy barbels.

Gudgeon (Gobio gobio)

The Gudgeon resembles very much the Danube gudgeon, but the two barbels at the corners.of its mouth are much shorter and do not reach as far as the eyes. Also the.nape in this species is smooth and scaleless. It lives close to the bottom of all types of water. It breeds in May and June spawning in shallow waters on stones and plants. The young fry keep together in schools. It is indigenous to the whole of Europe with the exception of the Iberian peninsula, the southern parts of Italy (although it frequents the watershed of the Po), Greece, Norway, northern Sweden, Finland and Scotland. It is a favourite bait used by anglers for catching predatory fish.

Maximum size and weight: 20 cm, 100 g.

Identifying characteristics: Barbels relatively short, nape scaleless.

Danube Gudgeon (Gobio uranoscopus)

The Danube gudgeon is a small fish with an elongated, spindle-shaped body, which is covered by quite large scales. It has short dorsal and anal fins and a brownish back with dark spots which become purple at the sides. The mouth is ventral or back behind the head and two long barbels at the sides extend far behind its eyes. The nape is covered with scales. It swims against strong currents and generally lives close to the river bed. It can be encountered in the trout zone and is native to the upper and central parts of the Danube and its tributaries, such as the Isar, and also in rivers of the Carpathian Ukraine and Romania.

Maximum size and weight: 12 cm, 50 g.

Identifying characteristics: Long barbels touch rear gill-cover bones. Nape covered with scales. Purple to blue spots on sides.

Asp Fish (Aspius aspius)

The Asp has a long body and a wide mouth, which extends behind its eyes. Its upper jaw has a small depression into which the protruding lower jaw fits. It has a grey-blue back and silvery sides. Its dorsal fin is placed behind the imaginary vertical line projected from the base of the pelvic fins. Behind its pelvic fins it has a scale-covered keel.

The asp is a predatory fish, which inhabits the lower reaches of large rivers and sometimes also lives in oxbow lakes. It prefers upper water layers, where it feeds on small fish, which it often attacks noisily, sometimes even jumping out of the water. It also catches insects fallen onto the water surface. It spawns between April and June on the stony bed against the current. The fry at first cat plankton, small insect larvae, the fry of other fish, and later progress to a diet of small fish.

In Europe it inhabits rivers to the cast of the Elbe and those opening into the Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas. It is not found in France, Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, the Iberian peninsula or in the southern part of the Balkan peninsula. Its economic value grows proportionately as one moves eastwards through Europe, where it is also a favourite prey of anglers.

Maximum size and weight : 1.2 m, 14 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Upper jaw has depression into which slots protruding lower jaw. Large mouth reaches behind eyes. Scale-covered

Other freshwater fish similar like the asp with predatory instinct is the Oscar

Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus)

The Minnow is a small fish, which usually measures only 6 to 10 cm; it has very small scales and an incomplete lateral line. The dorsal fin is positioned well down its back. The back is brown- green and its light green sides often have a golden sheen, whilst its 'belly is white or pinkish. It has dark spots on its back and sides, which sometimes form a continuous lateral stripe or take the form of several transverse stripes. In the spawning season from April to June the males have an especially vivid colouring; the back is very dark, but the sides are golden and the belly, the edges of the lips and the base of their paired fins and anal fin are bright red. They also develop large spawning tubercles. The minnow lives in shoals in the trout zone, where it inhabits unpolluted brooks and mountain streams with a 'sandy or stony bed. It feeds on small invertebrates found on the river bed and also on insects.

The minnow is distributed all over Europe from northern Spain and northern Italy eastwards, but it is absent in northern Scotland, much of Ireland, southern Spain and Portugal, in central and southern Italy, in the Peloponnese and in the northern parts of the Scandinavian peninsula. Its relative Phoxinus percnurus lives in eastern Europe, near to Warsaw, Gdansk and in the watershed of the Oder.

Maximum size and weight: 10 cm, 10 g.

Identifying characteristics: Dorsal fin placed well down the back; lateral line incomplete. Very small scales.

Another examples: Mud-Minnow

Ide or Orfe Fish (Leuciscus idus)

The Ide is a long fish with a comparatively deep, laterally flattened body. It has a relatively small, terminal mouth. The dorsal fin begins above the rear half of the pelvic fins. The back is grey-green as far as the lateral line, the lower half of the body is a lighter 'shade. The dorsal and caudal fins are a dirty green, whilst the paired fins and anal fin are reddish. Its length is usually about 50 cm and it often weighs over 2 kg. It does not inhabit the upper reaches of rivers but prefers small stretches of water, where it is often found swimming lazily close to the water surface. It spawns near the river banks on plants and stones and during this time the males have distinctive white spawning tubercles. It feeds on insects and river bottom animals, larger specimens catch fish.

In Europe its habitat stretches from the Rhine to the Urals, but it is foreign to England, France, Switzerland, Norway and in areas south of the Alps and the Danube. A small number of ide are caught by nets and it is also a favorite angling fish. The golden variety of the ide, usually called golden orfe, has an orange-red body and golden fins. It is bred as a decorative fish for parkland ponds and pools.

Maximum size and weight: 60 cm, 3 kg.

Identifying characteristics: A relatively deep body, small mouth. Back grey-green, lower parts under the lateral line silvery white. Paired fins and anal fin reddish.