10 20 40 60 cm

mittakaava < 20 cm

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

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Stone loach

Barbatula barbatula

  • Family: River loaches – Balitoridae
  • Similar species: spined loach
  • Size: 10-15 cm.
  • Appearance: A small, elongate, bottom-dwelling fish with three pairs of mouth barbels 3-5 mm in length. Small eyes located almost on top of the head. Body shape more cylindrical, forebody somewhat fatter than the spined loach, in which the body is laterally more flattened. Tips of dorsal and caudal fins rounded, posterior margins may be slightly notched. Fins of spined loach are more rounded.
  • Colouring: Generally yellowish brown with darker bands and mottling. Indistinct dark line joining eye to snout.
  • Reproduction: May-June on stony bottoms.
  • Food: Small bottom invertebrates.
  • Distribution and habitat: A freshwater species found throughout Finland as far north as the lower reaches of the river Kemijoki. Avoids brackish water because of its salinity and occurs in the sea only in freshwater estuaries and in the easternmost part of the Gulf of Finland close to Finland’s eastern border. Inhabits stony bottoms in well-oxygenated water. Uses its barbels to hunt for food, foraging under stones. Unable to tolerate oxygen deficiency in eutrophic lakes but copes with eutrophication better in rivers because of the higher oxygen levels.

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