10 20 40 60 cm

mittakaava < 10 cm

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Gösta Sundman: Suomen Kalat (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Lauri Urho, Petri Savola (Uudenmaan ympäristökeskus), Jouko Lehmuskallio

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Phoxinus phoxinus

  • Family: Carps and minnows – Cyprinidae
  • Similar species: Trout and salmon parr.
  • Size: 4–7 cm, seldom 10 cm or over.
  • Appearance: Body fairly slender but relatively broad, almost rounded in cross-section. Lateral line extends half way along body. Snout blunt, jaws of equal length. Anal fin short, 8-9 rays. No real resemblance to other members of the carp family, though colouring and markings are similar to those of salmon and trout parr. However, minnows have no adipose fin.
  • Colouring: Back usually dark brown or greenish, sides lighter in colour with 12-15 bars similar to the parr markings on juvenile trout and salmon. Minnows lack the red spots that characterise young salmon and trout. Yellowish stripe above lateral line.
  • Reproduction: Spawns in shoals on sandy bottoms during June and early July. May leave coastal waters and ascend streams to spawn.
  • Food: Small benthic invertebrates.
  • Distribution and habitat: Found in freshwater throughout Finland. The only member of the carp family found in waters feeding into the Arctic Ocean and in highland lakes and streams up to 500 m above sea level. Favours clear water provided it is not too acidic. Does not tolerate eutrophication well and is therefore absent from some lakes. Also found in coastal waters, although here again, eutrophication has reduced its numbers. During summer minnows move in small shoals along stony or gravelly shorelines in very shallow water. Seeks deeper water in winter.

Their small size means that minnows are seldom caught in nets or traps. However they can be seen quite easily close to the shore as they are bold, curious little fish and will readily come close enough to take food from the hand.

Other species from the same family

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