European smelt (Osmerus eperlanus)
|Researched by||Morvan Barnes||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandFound on the east coasts of Britain as well as western Scotland as far north as the Hebrides.
HabitatThe European smelt is an anadromous midwater species rarely found far from the shore.
- Up to 45 cm in length.
- Lateral line does not reach the caudal base.
- Dorsal fin originates behind the pectoral fin.
- Light olive green dorsally, white underneath.
- Silvery stripe on the flanks.
Additional informationEuropean smelt congregate near river mouths in winter and usually ascend the river between February and April, returning to the sea soon after spawning takes place. It is sometimes divided into two subspecies, Osmerus eperlanus eperlanus and Osmerus eperlanus schonfoldi, with only the latter occuring around the British Isles and Ireland (Whitehead et al., 1986).
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Last Updated: 02/06/2008