Value of species
Stocking throughout Europe for centuries has blurred the original distribution pattern. Hypothesised to be native in most of Europe, naturally absent only in Ireland, Scandinavia north of 61°30'N, eastern Adriatic basin and western and southern Greece where it is now introduced. In Asia, native eastward to western Yenisei drainage south of 60°N. Introduced to North and South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, India, North America, Chile and probably elsewhere.
Habitat: Typically in shallow, densely vegetated lakes and backwaters. Often overwinters buried in mud. Spawns among dense vegetation in still water.
Biology: Lives up to 20 years. Spawns for the first time at 2-6 years and 70-250 mm SL, females a year later than males. Pelvic rays more robust, longer and extending beyond anus in male. Spawns in May-October, in Central Europe usually in June-July, at temperatures above 19°C, mostly at 22-24°C. Several males follow each female, which releases eggs in several portions above vegetation. Females may spawn 1-9 times each year, every 11-15 days, if suitably warm weather persists. High embryonic mortality observed when temperature fluctuates strongly. Larvae and juveniles restricted to dense vegetation. Tolerant of low oxygen concentrations and salinities up to 12 ‰. Feeds on detritus, benthic animals and plant material. Adults often feed predominantly on molluscs.
- 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.