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: Chondrostoma: Greek, chondros = cartilage + Greek, stoma = mouth (Ref. 45335). Name referring to the characteristic horny layer on the lower lip (Ref. 57917).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Temperate; 56°N - 37°N, 0°E - 35°E
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); max. published weight: 1.5 kg (Ref. 556); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 30578)
soft rays: 9 - 11;
Vertebrae: 47 - 48. Diagnosed from congeners in Black and Caspian Sea basins by the following characters: straight mouth in individuals larger than 20 cm SL, lower lip with thick cornified sheath; dorsal fin with 9½ branched rays; anal fin with 10-11½ branched rays; scales on lateral line 52-66 (usually 60-63); eye large, diameter 50-65% of interorbital distance; and side lacking broad dark midlateral stripe. Differs from species of Chondrostoma, Protochondrostoma and Parachondrostoma in Atlantic, Adriatic and Mediterranean basins of France, Italy and Slovenia by having the following features: mouth straight, lower lip with thick cornified sheath; 27-36 gill rakers; anal fin with 10-11½ branched rays; and pectoral, pelvic, anal and caudal fins red (Ref. 59043).
(Ref. 59043). Caudal fin with 19 to 21 rays (Ref. 40476).
Europe: Basins of Black (Danube, Dniestr, South Bug and Dniepr drainages), southern Baltic (Nieman, Odra, Vistula) and southern North Seas (westward to Meuse). Invasive or introduced in Rhône, Loire, Hérault, Seine (France) and Soca (Italy, Slovenia) drainages. Reports from the Drin drainage including Lakes Ohrid and Skadar represent a distinct species. In Appendix III of the Bern Convention (protected fauna).
Gregarious. Occurs in fairly shallow water with fast current, often beside the swirls created by piles of bridges or rocks (Ref. 30578). Inhabits moderate to fast-flowing large to medium sized rivers with rock or gravel bottom. Larvae occur below surface and feeding larvae inhabit along shores. Early juveniles live on the bottom in very shallow shoreline habitats. When growing, they move from the shore for faster-flowing waters. Juveniles overwinter in backwaters or in cavities along shores. During winter, adults form dense swarms in lower parts of rivers. Larvae and early juveniles prey on small invertebrates while larger juveniles and adults feed on benthic diatoms and detritus. Migrates some tens of km to spawning sites, which are often located in tributaries. Spawns in fast flowing water on shallow gravel beds often in small tributaries (Ref. 59043). Reported to migrate upstream and enters small tributaries for spawning in shallow water on gravel (Ref. 556). Its flesh is good but bony (Ref. 30578). Locally threatened by damming, destruction of spawning sites and pollution. In drainages where it is introduced, this species outcompetes and eliminates Parachondrostoma toxostoma in Rhône and Protochondrostoma genei in Soca (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
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
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 (0.00419 - 0.01809), b=3.13 (2.96 - 3.30), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=3-4; tmax=15; Fec=10,000-40,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (48 of 100) .