Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Occur in the sea, mostly close to shores and forages also in estuaries. This species is semi-anadromous and non-anadromous, rarely landlocked in reservoirs. Adults and juveniles feed on invertebrates, algae, detritus, plant material, and small fishes, while larvae prey on zooplankton and small benthic invertebrates. Spawn in lowland streams and rivers on sand-gravel bottom, usually in strong current. Undertake migration to uppermost tributaries of rivers. Non-anadromous populations begin to migrate during late summer-autumn and spawn following spring, but some enter rivers in early spring and spawn same year. Migration by non-anadromous populations takes place just before spawning to upper stretches of tributaries or spawn in lakes and reservoirs on sand to mud bottom (Ref. 59043).
  • Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof 2007 Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p. (Ref. 59043)
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Distribution

Range Description

Caspian basin, for spawning migrates up larger tributaries of western and southern coasts, from Volga southward to Atrek (Iran). Was always very rare in Volga. Aral basin, in Amu Darya, Syr Darya and Chu drainages, extirpated in the Aral Sea.
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Aral Sea and western and southern Caspian Sea river basins; anadromous and non-anadromous.
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Europe and Asia: Caspian basin, from Volga southward to Atrek (Iran); Aral basin in Amu Darya, Syr Darya and Chu drainages.
  • Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof 2007 Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p. (Ref. 59043)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8; Analspines: 2; Analsoft rays: 5
  • Bianco, P.G. and P. Banarescu 1982 A contirbution to the knowledge of the Cyprinidae of Iran (Pisces, Cypriniformes) (3). Cybium 6(2):75-96. (Ref. 47064)
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Size

Max. size

105 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 1441)); max. published weight: 15.0 kg (Ref. 59043)
  • Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof 2007 Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p. (Ref. 59043)
  • Berg, L.S. 1964 Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries. volume 2, 4th edition. Israel Program for Scientific Translations Ltd, Jerusalem. (Russian version published 1949). (Ref. 1441)
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnosed from other species of Barbus and Luciobarbus in Caspian Se basin by having the following characters: predorsal length longer than postdorsal length; dorsal fin with 8½ branched rays; 12-18 gill rakers; back between head and dorsal origin laterally compressed, forming a keel; lateral line with 52-72 (usually 60-66) scales; and lower lip thin, without median lobe or pad (Ref. 59043).
  • Bianco, P.G. and P. Banarescu 1982 A contirbution to the knowledge of the Cyprinidae of Iran (Pisces, Cypriniformes) (3). Cybium 6(2):75-96. (Ref. 47064)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitat:
At sea, mostly close to shores. Forages also in estuaries. Spawns in lowland streams and rivers on sand-gravel bottom, usually in strong current.

Biology:
Semi-anadromous but rarely landlocked in reservoirs. Spawns for the first time at 3-7 years, females later than males, over 200 mm SL. Spawns in April-August. Males are annual spawners, females apparently spawn every 2-3 years. Semi-anadromous populations start migration in late summer-autumn and spawn following spring, but some enter rivers in early spring and spawn same year. Migrate to uppermost tributaries of rivers. Landlocked populations migrate just before spawning to upper stretches of tributaries, or spawn in lakes and reservoirs on sand to mud bottom. Female lays 15,000-125,000 light grey eggs. Larvae feed on zooplankton and small benthic invertebrates. Juveniles and adults feed on invertebrates, algae, detritus, plant material, and small fishes.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater; brackish
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2cd

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
In the past 30 years (three generations), since 1976, the species has become extirpated from a large part of its range (about 20%), the Aral Sea, due to intensive water abstraction. Now the species may only occur in a few reservoirs in the Amu Darya and Syr Darya (tributaries to the Aral).

In the western Caspian Sea the semi-anadromous population has declined, due to the lack of spawning sites and poaching, but it is still frequent in the southern Caspian tributaries in Azerbaidjan and Iran. There is still L. capito populations in the upper Arax in Turkey.

Overall, there is a continuing to decline due to expanding hydropower development, overfishing and strong ecological impacts on Caspian and Aral Sea basins. It is suspected that the total population has declined by at least 30% in the past 30 years.
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Population

Population
Declined sharpley due to damming in the 1950's and 1960's in the Caspian Sea. In the Aral sea the species declined due to the shrinking (increased salinity) of the Aral sea (started in 1970s to present) and damming of its tibutaries (1950's to 1970's).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Historically dam construction and overfishing was a threat, increased salinity in the Aral sea caused the species to become extirpated. Currently the main threat is overfishing (illegal) in the Caspian sea.
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Vulnerable (VU) (A2cd)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Fishing is banned in the Caspian Sea.
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Wikipedia

Luciobarbus capito

Luciobarbus capito is a species of ray-finned fish in the genus Luciobarbus from the Aral and Caspian basins, including rivers that flow into these.

Footnotes[edit]

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