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Abramis brama  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Freshwater bream
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Abramis brama
Picture by Hartl, A.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Cypriniformes (Carps) > Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps) > Leuciscinae
Etymology: Abramis: Greek, abramis, -idos = a fish, grey mullet (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: 15 - ?; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - ? m (Ref. 9696).   Temperate; 10°C - 24°C (Ref. 2059); 75°N - 40°N, 11°W - 73°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 82.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6114); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3561); max. published weight: 6.0 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 23 years (Ref. 796)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 3; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-10; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 23 - 30; Vertebrae: 43 - 45. The only species of the genus which can be diagnosed from other species of Ballerus, Blicca and Vimba by the following characters: mouth sub-inferior, which can be extended as a tube; lateral line with 51-60 scales; anal fin with 30½ branched rays; eye diameter about 2/3 of snout length in individuals larger than 10 cm SL; pharyngeal teeth 5-5; and base of paired fins hyaline or grey (Ref. 59043). Caudal fin with 19 rays (Ref. 2196). Tall, laterally compressed body. Fins darker in adults. Anal fin base twice as long as the dorsal fin (Ref. 35388).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Europe and Asia: most European drainages from Adour (France) to Pechora (White Sea basin); Aegean Sea basin, in Lake Volvi and Struma and Maritza drainages. Naturally absent from Iberian Peninsula, Adriatic basin, Italy, Scotland, Scandinavia north of Bergen (Norway) and 67°N (Finland). Locally introduced in Ireland, Spain and northeastern Italy. In Asia, from Marmara basin (Turkey) and eastward to Aral basin. Introduced in Lake Baikal and upper Ob and Yenisei drainages.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults inhabit a wide variety of lakes and large to medium sized rivers. Most abundant in backwaters, lower parts of slow-flowing rivers, brackish estuaries and warm and shallow lakes (Ref. 59043). Adults occur usually in still and slow-running waters where they travel in large shoals (Ref. 9696). Larvae and juveniles live in still water bodies, feeding on plankton. One to two years old juveniles move from backwaters to river to feed. In the absence of opportunity to leave backwaters, juveniles may adapt but have a slower growth and attain maturity at a smaller size. They also drift to brackishwater estuaries to forage when water level of flooded areas drops in lower reaches of large rivers. Foraging juveniles in brackish waters stay in lower parts of rivers to overwinter in freshwater (Ref. 59043). Feed on insects, particularly chironomids, small crustaceans, mollusks and plants. Larger specimens may feed on small fish. Juveniles feed on zooplankton (Ref. 30578). Able to shift to particle feeding or even filter feeding at high zooplankton abundance. Usually spawn in backwaters, floodplains or lakes shores with dense vegetation (Ref. 59043). Can survive out of the water for extended periods (Ref. 9988). The flesh is bony, insipid and soft (Ref. 30578). Marketed fresh or frozen. Eaten steamed, broiled, fried and baked (Ref. 9988).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Undergo upriver migration (100 km in Dniepr) to spawn. Many populations start spawning migration in autumn ( especially semi-anadromours forms), slow down during winter and continue in spring. Males often defend spawning territories along shorelines. Eggs are sticky and eggs size increases with age of female. Frequently forms fertile hybrids with Rutilus rutilus (Ref. 59043).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof, 2007. Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p. (Ref. 59043)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: usually
FAO(Aquaculture: production; fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00871 (0.00766 - 0.00991), b=3.14 (3.10 - 3.18), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.1   ±0.1 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.06-0.17; tm=3-5; tmax=17; Fec=90,000-340,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (62 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.