Misgurnus fossilis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cobitidae

Scientific Name: Misgurnus fossilis (Berg, 1949)
Common Name(s):
English Weatherfish
Misgurnis fossilis (Berg, 1949) [orth. error]

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-03-05
Assessor(s): Freyhof, J.
Reviewer(s): Kottelat, M. & Smith, K.
Contributor(s): Kottelat, M.
A widespread species that is undergoing a gradual and continuing decline resulting in the extirpation from many water bodies however this is not at a rate to qualify the species for a threatened or Near Threatened category. The major threats are due to the channelization of rivers which stops the formation of backwaters (e.g., oxbow lakes), and the pollution of backwaters.

European Union 27 = LC. Same rationale as above.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Europe north of the Alps, from Meuse eastward to Neva drainages and Lake Ladoga; northern Black Sea basin from Danube eastward to Kuban; Caspian basin in Volga and Ural drainages. In Black Sea basin, absent south of Danube and Kuban. Not native to Great Britain, Scandinavia, Apennine and Iberian Peninsulas, Crimea, and Adriatic, Aegean and White Sea basins. Locally introduced in Rhône drainage (France) and perhaps elsewhere. Extirpated from Switzerland, recent records (in the 1990-2000s) are actually the alien species Paramisgurnus dabryanus.
Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Hungary; Kazakhstan; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Ukraine
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Slowly declining.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat:
Backwaters and side channels of lowland streams, rivers and lakes. Mostly restricted to densely vegetated habitats with slow or no current and soft, mud bottom. Spawns in dense vegetation, often in flooded meadows.

Spawns for the first time at 2-3 years, at about 110 mm SL. Spawns in March-July. Males have a larger second pectoral ray and shallow vertical swellings of flanks above anal base, enlarged during spawning time. Male follows female into dense vegetation and forms a complete ring around her body, behind dorsal fin. Sticky eggs are released into vegetation. Larvae move to bottom and hide in mud. Larvae have large external gill filaments, reabsorbed after 10-12 days. Adults nocturnal, burrows into mud to hide during day and, especially in shallow habitats, during dry periods and strong frosts. Usually burrows 200-300 mm deep, occasionally down to 700 mm during dry periods. Able to survive in habitats with low oxygen concentrations by cutaneous and intestinal respiration. Frequently swallows air, oxygen being absorbed through the walls of the gut. Feeds on benthic invertebrates. Swims slowly above bottom and dig for invertebrates, which are localized by olfaction.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): River regulation for water transport, has reduced the number of back waters (oxbow lakes etc) where, in the last phases of succession the species is found. The species moves between the backwaters during times of flooding, which has also been regulated by the channelization and damming of the rivers. The succession of the back waters takes many years and the number of available and suitable sites for the species is slowly reducing as they dry out and no new ones are created. The species is known to have been extirpated from many locations.  Regionally, the species inhabits secondary waterbodies such as drainage canals.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No information available.

Citation: Freyhof, J. 2011. Misgurnus fossilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T40698A10351495. . Downloaded on 26 April 2018.
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