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mittakaava < 20 cm

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Wilhelm von Wright: Pohjolan kalat, Lauri Urho

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Spined loach

Cobitis taenia

  • Family: Loaches – Cobitidae
  • Similar species: stone loach
  • Size: 8-12 cm.
  • Appearance: The spined loach is a small, elongate, bottom-dwelling fish with three pairs of very short mouth barbels. Small eyes located almost on top of the head. Body less rounded but deeper than the similar stone loach. Tips of dorsal and caudal fins much more rounded compared with the stone loach. Erectile spines below the eyes.
  • Colouring: Dull yellowish grey with darker mottling. Two lines of dark spots along each side give the impression of stripes.
  • Reproduction: Spawning in Finland not well understood, but probably spawns in June.
  • Food: Small benthic invertebrates and plankton.
  • Distribution and habitat: In Finland occurs only in the eastern parts of the Gulf of Finland, where salinity is low, and in the river Hiitolanjoki close to the eastern border. The spined loach is perhaps the rarest of Finland’s naturally occurring fish species. It lives in shallow coastal water on sandy or muddy bottoms. Hides from predators by burying itself into the bottom sand or mud, and can fool its pursuer by popping up in a different place. Emerges at dusk to forage for food on the bottom but spends the days buried in the bottom with just its head showing.
  • Endangerment: Near threatened.

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