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.