Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits open waters of lakes and medium to large rivers. Forms large aggregations in backwaters and other still waters during winter. Adults occur in shoals near the surface. Larvae live in littoral zone of rivers and lakes while juveniles leave shores and occupy a pelagic habitat, feeding on plankton, drifting insects or invertebrates fallen on the water surface (Ref. 59043). Feeds mainly on plankton, including crustaceans (Ref. 30578) and insects (Ref. 9696). Spawns in shallow riffles or along stony shores of lakes, occasionally above submerged vegetation (Ref. 59043). Excellent as bait for carnivorous fishes. May be captured using the smallest hook and a fly as bait. Its flesh is tasty (Ref. 30578). Of little interest to commercial or sport fisheries in its native range because of its small size (Ref. 1739). Scales were previously utilized in making Essence d"Orient, a coating for artificial pearls (Ref. 59043).
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Distribution

Range Description

Most of Europe north of Caucasus, Pyrénées and Alps, eastward to Ural and Emba. Naturally absent from Iberian Peninsula, Adriatic and Aegean basins (except Evros drainage), Italy, Ireland, Great Britain (except southeast), Norway and Scandinavia north of 67°N, Caspian basin south of Volga. Locally introduced in Spain and Italy, in Lake Abrau (Black Sea coast of Russia) and in the Irtysh River.
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Europe and Asia: most of Europe north of Caucasus, Pyrénées and Alps, eastward to Ural and Emba. Naturally absent from Iberian Peninsula, Adriatic and Aegean basins (except Maritza drainage), Italy, Ireland, Great Britain (except southeast), Norway and Scandinavia north of 67°N, Caspian basin south of Volga. In Anatolia, Marmara basin. Locally introduced in Spain, Portugal and Italy. At least one country reports adverse ecological impact after introduction.
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Europe to western Asia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 2 - 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7 - 9; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 14 - 20; Vertebrae: 41 - 44
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Size

Maximum size: 250 mm TL
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Max. size

25.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 30578)); max. published weight: 60.0 g (Ref. 30578)
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnosed from congeners in Europe by the possession of the following characters: origin of anal fin below branched dorsal rays 4-5; lateral line with 45-48 + 3 scales; anal fin with 17-20½ branched rays; 16-22 gill rakers; ventral keel exposed from anus to pelvic base; lateral stripe absent in life, faint or absent in preserved specimens; and mouth slightly superior (Ref. 59043). Caudal fin with 19 rays (Ref. 2196). Also Ref. 40476.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitat:
Open waters of large lakes and medium to large rivers. Forages close to surface. In winter forms large aggregations in backwaters and other still waters. Spawns in shallow riffles or along stony shores of lakes, occasionally above submerged vegetation.

Biology:
Gregarious. Spawns for the first time at 2-3 years. Usually spawns only one or two seasons. Spawns in May-August at temperatures above 15°C, 2-4 times at 1-2 week intervals, in early morning. Larvae inhabit littoral zone of rivers and lakes, juveniles leave shores and occupy a pelagic habitat, feeding on plankton, drifting insects or invertebrates fallen on the water surface. Scales were earlier used to make Essence d'Orient, a coating for artificial pearls.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; pH range: 7.0; dH range: 10; depth range 1 - ? m (Ref. 30578)
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Depth range based on 839 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 18 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 20
  Temperature range (°C): 5.286 - 5.912
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.680 - 1.709
  Salinity (PPS): 5.681 - 5.722
  Oxygen (ml/l): 8.631 - 8.684
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.114 - 0.114
  Silicate (umol/l): 14.483 - 14.574

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1 - 20

Temperature range (°C): 5.286 - 5.912

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.680 - 1.709

Salinity (PPS): 5.681 - 5.722

Oxygen (ml/l): 8.631 - 8.684

Silicate (umol/l): 14.483 - 14.574
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Migration

Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Occurs in shoals near the surface. Feeds mainly on plankton, including crustaceans (Ref. 30578) and insects (Ref. 9696). Excellent as bait for carnivorous fishes. Feeds at the surface in open water and in the coves, while it forages along the bottom in shallower shore zone (Ref. 46637). Feeding intensity high during summer and beginning of autumn and showed a decline in winter (Ref. 42428).
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Associations

Animal / parasite / endoparasite
tapeworm of Caryophyllaeides fennica endoparasitises intestine of Alburnus alburnus

Animal / parasite / endoparasite
tapeworm of Caryophyllaeus laticeps endoparasitises intestine of Alburnus alburnus

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Known predators

salakka is prey of:
Esocidae
Perca

Based on studies in:
Finland (Lake or pond, Littoral)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Known prey organisms

salakka preys on:
Insecta
Pallasea
Alona
Eurycercus
Alonella
Asellus
Diaphanosoma
Sida
Bosmina
Macrocyclops
Acanthocyclops
Demicryptochironomus
Leptochironomus
Ablabesmyia
Procladius
Cryptochironomus
Asplanchna
Polyphemus

Based on studies in:
Finland (Lake or pond, Littoral)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Known predators

Alburnus alburnus (Alburnus alburnus (bleak)) is prey of:
Esocidae
Percidae

Based on studies in:
England, River Thames (River)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Known prey organisms

Alburnus alburnus (Alburnus alburnus (bleak)) preys on:
periphyton
algae
allochthonous matter
zooplankton
Chironomidae
Crustacea
Gastropoda
Porifera
Mollusca
roach
Insecta
Bosmina longirostris
Copepoda
Chaoborus flavicans

Based on studies in:
England, River Thames (River)
Austria, Hafner Lake (Lake or pond)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Eggs hatch in about 4 days (Ref. 59043).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Alburnus alburnus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 27 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACGCGCTGATTCTTTTCTACAAACCACAAAGACATTGGTACCCTTTATCTTGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGGATAGTGGGGACTGCCCTA---AGCCTCCTTATCCGAGCCGAACTAAGCCAGCCTGGGTCACTTTTAGGTGAT---GATCAAATTTATAATGTCATCGTTACCGCCCACGCCTTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTCATGCCAATTCTTATTGGGGGGTTTGGAAACTGACTCGTCCCACTAATG---ATTGGTGCACCCGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAATAACATGAGTTTCTGGCTCCTTCCCCCATCATTCCTACTGCTATTAGCTTCTTCTGGAGTTGAGGCCGGCGCTGGGACGGGGTGAACAGTATACCCACCCCTCGCAGGCAATCTTGCCCATGCAGGAGCATCAGTAGATTTA---ACAATCTTCTCACTCCATCTAGCAGGTGTATCATCAATTTTAGGTGCAGTTAACTTCATTACCACAATTATTAATATGAAACCTCCAGCCATCTCCCAATATCAAACACCCCTCTTTGTGTGAGCCGTACTAGTAACGGCTGTCCTTCTCCTCCTCTCACTACCAGTTCTAGCTGCT---GGAATTACAATGCTTCTTACGGATCGTAATCTTAATACCACATTCTTCGATCCGGCAGGGGGAGGAGACCCAATCCTATATCAACACTTATTCTGATTCTTTGGCCATCCAGAGGTTTATATTCTCATTCTACCCGGATTTGGTATCATTTCACACGTCGTGGCCTATTATTCCGGTAAAAAA---GAACCATTTGGCTACATGGGGATAGTTTGAGCCATGATGGCCATTGGCCTCCTTGGGTTCATCGTCTGAGCCCACCACATATTCACTGTTGGGATGGACGTAGACACCCGTGCCTATTTTACGTCCGCAACAATGATTATTGCTATTCCAACTGGTGTAAAAGTATTTAGCTGACTT---GCCACGCTCCACGGGGGC---TCTATCAAATGAGAGACCCCTATGCTATGAGCGCTAGGATTTATCTTCCTTTTTACAGTAGGGGGGTTAACAGGAATTGTGTTAGCTAATTCATCGCTTGACATTGTTCTCCACGACACATATTACGTAGTCGCTCACTTCCACTACGTA---CTATCAATGGGTGCCGTGTTTGCCATCATGGCAGCCTTCGTCCACTGATTCCCACTCTTCTCAGGGTACACGCTAAATGATACTTGAACAAAAATTCATTTTGGAATTATGTTTATTGGCGTAAACCTTACATTCTTCCCACAACACTTCCTAGGTCTGGCAGGAATGCCACGA---CGGTACTCTGATTACCCAGACGCCTATGCC---TTATGAAATACGGTATCATCTATTGGATCACTCATCTCATTAGTGGCAGTAATCATGTTCCTATTCATTCTCTGAGAAGCTTTCGCCGCCAAACGGGAAGTA---TCCTCAGTAGAGCTAACCATGACAAAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Alburnus alburnus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 53
Specimens with Barcodes: 70
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M.

Reviewer/s
Bogutskaya, N., & Smith, K. (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit)

Contributor/s

Justification
A widespread species with no known major widespread threats.
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Population

Population
Abundant.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
No major threats known.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No information.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; bait: usually
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Wikipedia

Common bleak

The bleak (Alburnus alburnus) is a small freshwater coarse fish of the cyprinid family.

Description[edit]

Alburnus.jpg

The body of the bleak is elongated and flat. The head is pointed and the relatively small mouth is turned upwards. The anal fin is long and has 18 to 23 fin rays. The lateral line is complete. The bleak has a shiny silvery colour; and the fins are pointed and colourless. The maximum length is approximately 25 cm.

In Europe the bleak can easily be confused with many other species. In England, young bream and silver bream can be confused with young bleak, though the pointed upward turned mouth of the bleak is already distinctive at young stages. Young roach and ruffe have a wider body and a short anal fin.

Occurrence[edit]

The bleak occurs in Europe and Western Asia: north of the Caucasus, Pyrenees and Alps, and eastward toward the Volga basin and North-Western Turkey. It is absent from the major southern peninsulas and most of British Isles except southeast England. It is however locally introduced in Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

The shiny and pearly colors on the head of a bleak in direct sunlight

Ecology[edit]

The bleak lives in great schools and feeds upon small molluscs, insects that fall in the water, insect larvae, worms, small shellfish and plant detritus. It is found in streams and lakes. The bleak prefers open waters and is found in large numbers where there is an inflow of food from pumping stations or behind weirs.

Spawning[edit]

The bleak spawns near the shore in shallow waters. Some are found in deep water. The substrate is not important.

Importance[edit]

The bleak is an important food source for predatory fish. It is more sensitive to pollution than other cyprinids, which might explain the decline in North-Western Europe.

Uses[edit]

Bleak are used as bait for sport-fishing for larger fish. Previously, guanine was extracted from the scales of the bleak and used in making artificial pearls.

References[edit]

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