State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Rutilus frisii (Nordmann, 1840)

  • Leuciscus frisii Nordmann, 1840
  • Cyprinus wiresuba Güldenstädt, 1791
  • Gardonus wyrozub Walecki, 1863
Vernacular Name
Black Sea Roach
Conservation status
Be (III); EUHD (II); RDBUkr: Зникаючі; RDBUkrCarp: NT
Value of species
Fishing species
In Caspian basin, a second species may be involved, entering only very lowest reaches of rivers, estuaries, coastal lakes and lagoons, where it spawns in shallow lagoons and lakes with slow current and dense vegetation on submerged plants. Black and Azov Sea basins, absent from Danube and Kuban drainages; Has not been recorded from Dniestr, Dniepr and South Bug since 1985 (may now be extirpated); In the Don it is found in the Tsymlansk Resevoir (landlocked) and lower reaches and Sea of Azov. In the Caspian basin, it is extirpated from Volga and Ural but still abundant along the western and southern coast from Kuma to Gorgan Bay, where it enters most rivers and freshened lagoons to spawn. The species undergone a massive decline due to the damming of its spawning rivers, mostly happening in the 1950s and 1960's. It has not been recorded north east Black Sea basin since 1985 (N. Bogutskaya pers comm.), and is no longer recorded in the Volga and Ural. It is still abundant in western and southern Caspian sea. In the Azov Sea and Don river it is still present, and abundant in Tsymlansk resevoir. Large brackish estuaries and their large, freshened plume waters, coastal lakes connected to rivers and lowland stretches of large rivers. In estuaries, in deep layers, down to 20 m. Tolerates salinities up to 7-12 ‰. Landlocked populations inhabit lakes or reservoirs. Spawns in small rivers or streams with heavy current on gravel bottom. Semi-anadromous. Lives up to 12 years. Spawns for the first time at 4-5 years, 430-500 mm SL. Starts entering rivers in second half of October (Black Sea, rarely in Caspian Sea). When rivers are covered by ice, spawning migration ceases and is continued with the breaking up of the ice or even under ice in February-March. Spawns in April-May, earlier in southern drainages (February in Terek), when temperature reaches 8°C, peaking at 13-15°C. Eggs adhere to rocks and gravel, rarely to submerged plants. Adults return to estuaries to forage immediately after spawning. Eggs hatch in 10-16 days at 12-19°C. Juveniles migrate to estuaries during first summer (August). Landlocked populations migrate in spring from lakes or reservoirs or middle river stretches to tributaries or upper reaches. Larvae and early juveniles feed on zooplankton, algae and insect larvae. Adults feed mainly on molluscs and crustaceans, supplemented by other benthic invertebrates. Stops feeding while migrating, spawning and overwintering.
Book reference
  • Соколов Н.Ю. Каталог колекції круглоротих і риб Державного природознавчого музею НАН України // Наукові записки Державного природознавчого музею. – Львів, 2004. – Т.19. – С. 15-28.
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Taxonomic branch