10 20 40 60 cm
mittakaava < 40 cm
Gösta Sundman: Suomen Kalat (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Lauri Urho
Pelecus cultratus (L.)
- Family: Carps and minnows – Cyprinidae
- Similar species: None
- Size: 25–40 cm.
- Appearance: Body shape resembles that of a large Baltic herring. The belly has a sharp keel, or edge, and, viewed from the side, is curved. Back almost straight. Also known as the sabre carp from the sword-like shape of the body. Lower jaw points sharply upwards. Large pectoral fins are long and pointed, lateral line wavy, running along lower sides.
- Colouring: Sides and belly pale, silvery. Fins more or less colourless.
- Reproduction: Ascends rivers to spawn in May-June. Eggs deposited in open water. Also spawns in brackish water bays, the nearest being in the very easternmost Gulf of Finland. In Finnish waters the ziege is thought to have reproduced in the river Porvoonjoki, though no permanent population exists.
- Food: Free-swimming crustaceans, surface insects and small fish.
- Distribution and habitat: Commonest in the eastern Gulf of Finland and the Saimaa canal, but has migrated into the Gulf of Botnia as far north as the mouth of the river Kemijoki. Also found occasionally in the sea around the Åland islands and the SW Finnish archipelago. Some have moved into freshwater in lake Saimaa and the lakes of the lower river Kymijoki. Ziege are found near the surface in lakes but also in flowing water.