Sunday, August 2, 2009

Black Sea Roach

The Black Sea roach has a long cylindrical body, a small mouth and a round protruding snout. Its back is dark brown with a green sheen, its sides are a lighter colour turning to white on the belly. The fins are greyish and transparent. It is a migratory fish, which lives in schools in spme German and Austrian lakes within the system of the upper Danube in the Chiemsee, Traunsee, Attersee and Mondsee and their tributaries. It spawns in April and May in the lake tributaries where it feeds on molluscs, worms, insect larvae, plants and small fish. It is often netted during such migrations and is also a popular angling fish. A similar roach (Rutilus frisii frisii) is quite, plentiful in the north-western river tributaries of the Black Sea.

The Danube roach is a deep-water fish, which can be distinguished from the roach by the higher number of scales in its lateral line and the dark- coloured body tissue in the abdominal cavity. Its scales are relatively large, its mouth occupies a low position on the underside of the head. The dorsal fin is reddish and the caudal fin is a yellow-red. It grows to a larger size than the roach, up to 50 cm in length and about 2 kg in weight. It lives in large north Italian lakes, for example Lakes Maggiore, Lugano, Como and Garda, and is also found in the watershed of the River Po. In the upper and middle reaches of the Danube and its tributaries a subspecies is found, named Rutilus pigus virgo.

Rutilus frisii meidingeri

Maximum size and weight: 40 cm, 1.5 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Body slender and cylindrical; mouth small. Fins greyish and transparent.

Rutilus pigus

Maximum size and weight: 50 cm, 2 kg.

Identifying characteristics: An opalescent sheen on the sides, dorsal fin reddish, caudal fin red. The body tissue in the abdominal cavity dark

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