Thymallus thymallusThe grayling – or the European grayling – is different from other species of the genus by the smaller mouth, i.e. the upper jaw does not continue beyond the eye’s frontline. Its teeth in the jaws are very weak and barely visible. The fish has 20-29 gill rakers. The coloration is very vivid: small round black spots on the back and the upper sides, with brownish lengthwise stripes on the sides. The paired fins are yellow or red, the others are purple, and the dorsal fin has rows of bright rectangular spots. When spawning, the colors in the fish become more intense. Besides, in males the height of the dorsal fin increases. The length does not exceed 50 cm, with weight commonly of 0.5-1 kg, with the individual record of 4675 gr. The European grayling is quite widespread. Its areal covers most of Europe – France, England, Germany, Denmark, Scandinavia, Finland and east to the Urals. Everywhere across the areal, graylings prefer rapid clear water rivers, with deep pools alternated by rifts. In a number of places it enters lakes – Ladoga, Onega, Imandra – and proceeds to spawn up rivers. Here, it is fairly rare. In general, graylings are vultures, but in smaller rivers they commonly inhabit the food stock is limited. This is why they prey mainly on the small bottom animals, fish roe, and insects falling into water – hence fly-fishing of graylings. Larger specimens can swallow rodents and voles crossing streams. Graylings spawn in the spring and early summer (May-June). Grayling fry have broad lateral stripes on the sides, thus resembling pars. Altogether, its lifecycle is quite similar to that of brown trout. The eastern border of the areal is the Ural Mountains.

The species is red-listed in Russia.

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