Sunday 19 May
Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus)
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Minnow fact file
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The minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus) is a small, lively freshwater fish, with a greenish-brown back (2), which features darker spots that form an attractive 'banded' effect (3). It has fairly large eyes, a small mouth and a blunt nose (2). During the spawning season, males develop spectacular colours; the back becomes dark, the sides golden and the belly and lower fins turn bright red (2).
- Also known as
- Eurasian minnow.
- Length: 6-10 cm (2)
- Simple plants that lack roots, stems and leaves but contain the green pigment chlorophyll. Most occur in marine and freshwater habitats.
- Diverse group of arthropods (a phylum of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton) characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, woodlice and barnacles.
- A diverse group of invertebrates, mainly marine, that have one or all of the following; a horny, toothed ribbon in the mouth (the radula), a shell covering the upper surface of the body, and a mantle or mantle cavity with a type of gill. Includes snails, slugs, shellfish, octopuses and squid.
- The production or depositing of large quantities of eggs in water.
IUCN Red List (March, 2011)
- Cihar, J. (1991) A field guide in colour to freshwater fish. Silverdale Books, Leicester.
- Buczacki, S. (2002) Fauna Britannica. Hamlyn, London.
Fishbase species account (Jan 2003):
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The minnow lives in groups and feeds on plant debris, algae, molluscs, insects and crustaceans (4). The spawning season lasts from April to June (2); during this time they undertake short upstream migrations to spawn in shallow, gravelly areas (4).
The minnow is an important component of the diet of larger fishes, including the brown trout (Salmo trutta fario), as well as many water birds (3). This species is a good 'indicator' of the quality and oxygen content of streams and rivers (2).Top
Inhabits clean streams and rivers that have either a sandy or stony bed (2), in cold, running or still water that is well oxygenated (4). The minnow reaches altitudes of 2000 metres, and has been found in some lakes (2).Top
The minnow is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
The minnow is threatened by pollution and excessive stocking of salmon species (1).Top
Conservation action has not been targeted at the minnow (1).Top
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