Salvelinus malma  (Walbaum, 1792)

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Salmoniformes (Salmons) > Salmonidae (Salmonids) > Salmoninae
Etymology: Salvelinus: Old name for char; it is the same root of german "saibling" = little salmon (Ref. 45335);  malma: malma which is the the common name for this species in Kamchatka (Ref. 1998).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 200 m (Ref. 50550).   Temperate; 4°C - 18°C (Ref. 13614); 71°N - 41°N

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 23.5, range 12 - 21 cm
Max length : 127 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27436); common length : 37.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 18.3 kg (Ref. 27436)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-16; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 10 - 15. Body elongate, somewhat rounded, greatest body depth below dorsal fin. Head rather long. Pelvic fins with free-tipped fleshy appendage above its insertion. Caudal emarginate (Ref. 27547). Color varies with size, locality and habitat. Sea-run adults with back, upper head, and upper sides dark blue, the sides silvery to white. In freshwater populations, the back and upper sides are olive green to brown, the sides a paler color but bright red in spawning fish and at all times in some areas of Alaska, the underside white to dusky. The dorsal surface are marked with yellow, orange or red spots, more numerous and those along the lateral line smaller, than in arctic char. Spawning males, especially of anadromous populations, turn red on the ventral surface and tip of snout. The lower jaw, operculum and parts of the head are black, the back and sides turn olive-brown. The spots become more vivid orange-red, the pectoral and anal fins red-black with a white leading edge, the snout thickens and the lower jaw turns up. Females change less.

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

Arctic, Northwest to Northeast Pacific: drainages from Alaska to Puget Sound, Washington, USA; formerly in McCloud River drainages in California, USA. Northwest Pacific: Korea to Bering Sea (Ref. 2850).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in deep runs and pools of creeks and rivers; also in lakes and the sea (Ref. 5723). Lives in very clean mountain streams (Ref. 12218). Nerito-pelagic (Ref. 58426). Typically anadromous, but many populations are landlocked (Ref. 5723). Anadromous fish may spend 2-3 years at sea, evidently near shore, and migrate upstream to spawn (Ref. 5723). Young remain in streams for 3-4 years and feed on insects, leeches, snails, and salmon eggs (Ref. 1998) before entering brackish and salt water to feed on insects, fishes, and other invertebrates. Utilized fresh and eaten fried, broiled, and baked (Ref. 9988).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00550 (0.00361 - 0.00837), b=3.03 (2.91 - 3.15), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.7 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tm=3-5).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (70 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.