- Chalcalburnus mento (Heckel, 1837)
Value of species
Sea of Azov basin (Russia, Ukraine), where it migrates up the Don to the Tsymlansk Dam, Kuban to Krasnodar Dam, and other smaller rivers. There is a landlocked population in the Tsymlansk Resevoir.
Abundant in Tsymlansk Resevoir. Its status in the Sea of Azov is unknown but thought not to be currently declining. (declined in the 1960's - Don damed in 1963).
Lower parts of rivers, coastal lakes, estuaries, and open sea. At sea, lives close to surface and tolerates salinities up to 12 ‰. Landlocked populations in reservoirs. Migrates for long distances, up to upper reaches of streams in piedmont and montane zones. Spawns in rivers or streams with heavy current, on gravel bottom. Landlocked populations spawn in reservoir tributaries.
Semi-anadromous and landlocked populations. Spawns for the first time at 2-4 years, females one year later than males. Anadromous populations start entering rivers in autumn (September in Kuban) and move upstream during winter and/or in spring. Spawns in May-July, in shallows and at 18-26°C. Males assemble at spawning grounds and wait for ripe females, which arrive later. Eggs are sticky and adhere on pebbles or stones. Adults return to sea soon after spawning to forage. Young juveniles move downriver in autumn of same year or next spring. Larvae and young juveniles feed on zooplankton, algae and insect larvae, adults mainly on planktonic crustaceans, terrestrial insects, and small fish. Regularly hybridizes with Squalius cephalus.