Common Rudd

Scardinius erythrophthalmusThis species, distributed all over Europe – except for the rivers of Crimea – in South Caucasus, Asia Minor, in the rivers of the Caspian south and the Aral Sea, is relatively rare in the Pskov-PeipsiLake.

The common rudd is one of the most beautiful fauna species of the region. Its body is fairly wide, with a brownish green back, shiny golden-yellow flanks and body, orange eyes with a red spot in the upper part. The dorsal fin is blackish at base and red on tip, the pectoral fins are gray and red-tipped, the rest of them are magenta, or even maroon. Larger spawning species can be particularly vivid. Rudds are often confused with roaches – or rather the brighter colored roaches are taken for rudds. Yet the species are different. The common rudd has an upward mouth with two-rowed serrated teeth. The dorsal fin is shifted back, starting farther than the pelvic and ending close to the anal, the abdomen past the pelvic fins is compressed into a scaled keel. Common rudds reach up to 31-36 cm in length, weighing 400-500 gr, though some species can weigh up to 2 kg. They prefer bays and bayous, running ponds and lakes with abundant bulrush, reeds and other aquatic plants. It almost never comes to open water. Rudds keep in the depth, coming to surface on days too hot. Their diet comprises young shoots, thread-like green algae, and insect larvae; they readily feed on mollusk eggs spawned on the underside of spatterdock leaves, making characteristic squishing noises. The growth rate is quite low. They mature 3-4 year old, being over 12 cm long. Roe is portion-spawned in rather big volumes – 96-232 thousand eggs. Spawning takes place in late May or June, when the water temperature is at 18-20°С. When spawning, rudds do not jump through the surface or splash as many other carps do – they lay eggs silently. Only the swinging stems of bulrush and reed point to the fact that spawning is underway. The roe is attached to plant stems. The common rudd is a low-fat (0.07%) and low commercial value fish.

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