Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nase Fish (Chondrostoma nasus)

The Nase is a medium-sized fish with a large body, which is slightly flattened at the sides, and a typical inferior-positioned mouth. Its lips are covered with a horny skin and therefore its mouth has sharp edges. The nase has a grey-blue to grey-green back, silvery sides and belly. All fins except the dorsal fin are red. It usually reaches a length of 40 cm and a weight of 1 kg. It lives gregariously in the middle reaches of rivers and lakes and from these it migrates in shoals upriver to the upper reaches. The nase feeds on algal growths, scraped from stones with their horny lips, leaving characteristic scratch marks on the surface of such submerged stones.

The nase inhabits those rivers which from mainland Europe open into the North and Baltic Seas, and from the north and west into the Black Sea. It can also be found in tributaries of the Caspian Sea. Besides Chondrostoma nasus, there are in Europe another seven species of the nase. In northern Italy it is C. soetta, in the Iberian peninsula C. polylepsis, in northern and central Italy C. genei and in the watershed of the river RhOne, Loire and rivers of northern Spain C. toxostoma.

Maximum size and weight: 50 cm, 2.5 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Typical inferior-positioned mouth with sharp edges. Body slightly flattened at sides; sides.

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