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: Phoxinus: Greek, phoxinos = certain river fish (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: 10 - 20; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Temperate; 2°C - 20°C (Ref. 1672); 73°N - 37°N, 10°W - 179°E
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 5.1, range 5 - 5.8 cm
Max length : 14.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); common length : 7.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); max. reported age: 11 years (Ref. 59043)
soft rays: 6 - 8;
Vertebrae: 38 - 40. Diagnosed from its congeners in Europe by having lateral line usually reaching beyond anal fin base, a midlateral row of vertically elongated blotches whose depth is about 1/3-1/2 of body depth at same position, often fused in a midlateral stripe (in preserved individuals), caudal peduncle depth 2.6-3.1 times in its length, patches of breast scales separated by unscaled area or (rarely) connected anteriorly by 1-2 rows of scales, snout length 29-34% HL ( 1.1-1.4 times eye diameter), and anal fin origin in front of base of last dorsal ray (Ref. 59043). Caudal fin with 19 rays (Ref. 2196).
Eurasia: basins of Atlantic, North and Baltic Seas, Arctic and northern Pacific Ocean, from Garonne (France) eastward to Anadyr and Amur drainages and Korea; Ireland (possibly introduced), Great Britain northward to 58°N. Scandinavia and Russia northernmost extremity, Rhône drainage. Recorded from upper and middle Volga and Ural drainages, Lake Balkhash (Kazakhstan) and upper Syr-Darya drainage (Aral basin), but else identifications need verification. At least one country reports adverse ecological impact after introduction. Several species are confused under Phoxinus phoxinus.
Gregarious (Ref. 2196). Found in a wide range of cold and well oxygenated habitats from small, fast-flowing streams to large Nordic lowland rivers and from small upland lakes to large oligotrophic lakes. Usually occurs in association with salmonid fishes (Ref. 59043). Feeds on algae, plant debris (in rivers), mollusks, crustaceans and insects (Ref. 30578). Spawns over clean gravel areas in flowing water or on wave-washed shores of lakes. Overwinters in coarse substrate or in deep pools with low current (Ref. 59043). Migrates upstream for spawning in shallow gravel areas. Important laboratory fish, for research on sensory organs of fishes. Mean maximum age is 6 years (Ref. 41616). Locally threatened due to pollution and excessive stocking of species of Salmo (Ref. 59043).
Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof, 2007. Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Potential pest (Ref. 13686)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; bait: usually
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00871 (0.00741 - 0.01024), b=3.13 (3.09 - 3.17), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.1 ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=1-6; tmax=13; fec=200).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (24 of 100) .