Western ruivaco (Achondrostoma occidentale)

loading
Western ruivaco
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Western ruivaco fact file

Western ruivaco description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassActinopterygii
OrderCypriniformes
FamilyCyprinidae
GenusAchondrostoma (1)

The western ruivaco (Achondrostoma occidentale) is a small, inconspicuous freshwater fish which is endemic to a small part of western Portugal (1) (3). A glistening, yellow band runs the length of the western ruivaco’s flank and the base of its fins are orange. The colouration on the side of the western ruivaco becomes paler towards the underside (3). This feature is more pronounced in the western ruivaco than in the closely related Chondrostoma arcasii and Chondrostoma oligolepis, which have red rather than orange bases to their fins. These differences help to identify the western ruivaco from other members of the genus. The western ruivaco also has a much thicker jaw bone, a different arrangement and number of scales and a more elongated body than related species (3).

Size
Length: up to 11.9 cm (2)
Weight : up to 26.5 g (2)
Top

Western ruivaco biology

The western ruivaco reaches sexual maturity at one year old (2) and breeds in temperate waters in late April and May (4). The fish gather in spawning groups and the females release sticky eggs, which attach to stones and vegetation (4).Like other members of its family the western ruivaco is likely to be an opportunistic feeder, which mainly eats aquatic invertebrates (5)

Top

Western ruivaco range

The western ruivaco only occurs in three small coastal streams in western-central Portugal: the Sizandro, Safarujo and Alcabrichel (3) (4).

Top

Western ruivaco habitat

The western ruivaco lives in small coastal streams upstream of river pollution (4). Due to reduced water flow during the summer, the western ruivaco makes use of small pools and the shade from surrounding vegetation as protection from the summer heat (3) (4).

Top

Western ruivaco status

Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

Top

Western ruivaco threats

The western ruivaco is threatened with pollution from industry, agriculture and sewage plants (1), and is now found only in small, isolated areas upstream of major pollution sources (3) (4). Summer droughts and the illegal removal of water for intensive agriculture has reduced the habitat of this threatened fish and had a major impact on its population (2).The surviving populations of the western ruivaco are very small (4), and it is thought that the population in the Safarujo may have been lost after the stream dried up (1).

Top

Western ruivaco conservation

There are currently no known conservation projects relating to the western ruivaco (1) (4) but there have been pilot captive breeding studies which could be useful if reintroductions become necessary (2). This study took a population of 16 adult western ruivaco from the Alcabrichel River for captive breeding (2) and showedencouraging results. Measures to restore the rivers inhabited by the western ruivaco have also been recommended to protect this highly threatened fish (4).

Top

Find out more

To find out more about the western ruivaco see:

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

This species information was authored as part of the ARKive and Universities Scheme.
Top

Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Genus
A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
Invertebrates
Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones) and echinoderms.
Spawning
The production or depositing of eggs in water.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2010)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Gil, F. Sousa-Santos, C. and Almada, V. (2010) A simple and inexpensive technique for ex situ reproduction of Critically Endangered cyprinids - Achrondrostoma occidentale as a case study. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 41(4): 661-664.
  3. Robalo, J.I. Almada, V.C. Sousa-Santos, C. Moreira, M.I. and Doadrio, I. (2005) New species of the genus Chrondrostoma agassiz, 1832 (Actynopterigii, Cyprinidae) from western Portugal. Graellsia, 61(1): 19-29.
  4. Robalo, J.I. Sousa-Santos, C. Doadrio, I. and almada, V.C. (2008) Threatened fishes of the world: Acrondrostoma occidentale (Cyprinidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes, 83: 347.
  5. FishBase - Western ruivaco, (December, 2010)
    http://www.fishbase.org
X
Close

Image credit

Western ruivaco  
Western ruivaco

© Jörg Freyhof

Jörg Freyhof
freyhof@igb-berlin.de

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Western ruivaco (Achondrostoma occidentale) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog RSS