About animals

Aral Red-Lipped Asp * Caspian Atherin


Aterina - (Latin: Atherina mochon pontica Eichwald), atherinka, ferynka, smelt (wrong), gerbil (wrong).


The body is fusiform. There are two dorsal fins, the first consists of unbranched rays. Along the sides of the body passes a silver strip, a width of one row of scales. The second dorsal fin begins behind the vertical

beginning of anal. The transverse rows of scales are 44-52. Vertebrae 45_48. D VII-IX, I 10-13, A I 13-15.

There are two forms of atherin: the Black Sea atherin mochon pontica, and the Caspian atherin mochon caspia, which differ in the number of branchial stamens (in the first 27-32, in the second 22-26), the size of the gap between the beginning of the first and second dorsal fins and a number of other signs.

There are two more species in the Black Sea: A. hepsetus, characterized by a wider silver strip, located closer to the head by the second dorsal fin and a large number of transverse rows of scales, A. bonapartei, characterized by a large number of gill stamens and other characters.

The Black and Azov Seas, from where atherin enters fresh water (in the Bug and Dnieper). The Caspian atherin is found throughout the Caspian Sea, from heavily saline parts of it to river mouths.


Aterina is a marine, schooling, pelagic fish that tolerates large fluctuations in salinity. It is found both in fresh water of river mouths and even in rivers, and in highly saline bays (Kaydak Bay of the Caspian Sea) with a salt content of up to 60%.

Occurs in the spring. In the Sea of ​​Azov, atherin spawns in its coastal parts along the southern, eastern and northern shores, in the western part of the Taganrog Bay, in the Prikubansky District and in the Sivash Bay, with salinity from 7 to 36% and higher. In the Caspian Sea, spawning is recorded in Kaydak Bay with salinity up to 42%.

Ground eggs sticking to underwater plants. The diameter of the eggs is 1.2-1.7 mm, the shell is thick, equipped with adhesive threads. Hatching larvae reach a length of 5-5.5 mm. They are kept in the surface layers of water, extending salinity up to 45%.

The usual length of the atherin is about 9-10 cm, the largest - up to 14 cm (abs).

Aterin feeds on plankton.

In spring, atherin enters from the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of ​​Azov, in the Caspian Sea, atherin enters its northern part in spring, entering in large numbers into the Dead Kultuk and Kaydak bays.


The value is small. In the Caspian Sea, atherin is almost not caught. In the Azov and Black Seas off the coast of Russia, it was mined in 1936-1939. from 27 to 45 thousand centners Atherin catch may be increased.

Technique and course of fishing

Caught in the Kerch Strait, along with herring in the spring, during the course of atherin in the Sea of ​​Azov.

Aterina was used for salting or making fodder flour and technical jasper. Salty atherine is a poor quality product.

Aspius aspius taeniatus (Kessler) - Aral Red-Lipped Asp

Gender:Aspius Agassiz, 1832
Family:Cyprinidae Bonaparte, 1832

Aral asp (GB)
Aral Red-Lipped Asp (RU)

In D II-III 8-10, in A III-IV 12-15 rays. Scales in the lateral line 69-89. Gill stamens on the first branchial arch 9-10. Pharyngeal teeth double row 3.5-5.3, teeth elongated and bent at the ends to capture the fish. The body is hollow, squeezed laterally, covered with small scales. Between the ventral and anal fins on the belly there is a keel covered with scales. The mouth is large, final. On the lower jaw there is a tubercle entering the notch in the upper.

Inhabited the Aral Sea, where it disappeared as a result of the environmental crisis. There are in the plain reservoirs of the Amu Darya basin, Syr Darya. Through irrigation canals, he got into the basin of Kashkadarya, Zarafshan.

Large fish, in some cases reaching a length of 85 cm and weight up to 6 kg. It lives in open areas in the riverbed, reservoirs, lakes, canals. Leads a solitary lifestyle, rarely kept in small groups. It gathers in groups only during spawning migrations.
It reaches maturity at 3-5 years of age when it reaches a body length of 28-36 cm and a mass of 600-1000 g. In large lakes, such as the Aidar-Arnasay system of lakes, spawning migrations into inlet streams from September-October. Fertility is 20-400 thousand eggs. Spawning takes place in March-April at a water temperature of 5-10 ° C in sections of the river with stony uncleared soils and a fast current. In the spawning period, there is a mating outfit in males in the form of a body roughness. Caviar is swept on pebble soils, sometimes on washed roots of plants. The diameter of mature eggs is 1.3-2.2 mm.
Predatory fish, feeds on fish from the first year of life.

Status and value:
Commercial fish. Leads a solitary lifestyle, so fishing is carried out in autumn and spring during congestion and spawning migrations.

Atherina boyeri caspia (Eichwald) - Caspian atherina

Atherina mochon pontica
Berg, Freshwater fish of the USSR and neighboring countries. M., 1949. V.3.
Atherina boyeri
Kiener, Spillman, 1973: 577

Gender:Atherina Linnaeus, 1758
Family:Atherinidae Günter, 1861

Silverside (English)
Caspian atherin, common atherin, small atherin (Russian)

In D VII-IX, I 10-13, in A 13-15 rays. The pectoral fins reach the base of the ventral. The mouth is large, final. There are scales on the head. The lower jaw protrudes forward, on the upper there is a recess where the lower jaw enters.

The Caspian subspecies of the common atherin Atherina boyeri caspia Risso, 1826. In 1950, it was accidentally brought from the Caspian to the Aral Sea, where it initially began to be caught, but disappeared as the Aral Sea ecological crisis developed. Currently, there are in bodies of water in the lower Amu Darya, in particular in Lake. Sudochye.

A small schooling fish up to 15 cm long. Held in the pelagial.
It reaches puberty in the second year of life. To spawn it approaches the shores. Portion spawning. Caviar lays on the bottom of the vegetation. Caviar has threadlike outgrowths for attachment to vegetation. Fertility is up to 500 thousand eggs. Eggs with a diameter of 1.5-1.9 mm.
It feeds on plankton organisms.

Status and value:
It does not have commercial value.

Common Aterina (Atherina boyeri)

Atherina boyeri Risso, 1810
Brown atherin, Caspian atherin, Black Sea atherin, Black Sea-Caspian atherink, gerbil, sea smelt
Big-scale sand smelt
Atherina anterina Nardo, 1847
Atherina bonapartii Boulenger, 1907 Brown Aterina (Rus),
Atherina boyeri Risso, 1810
Atherina caspia Eichwald, 1838
Atherina hyalosoma Cocco, 1885
Atherina lacustris Bonaparte, 1836 Mediterranean atherina (Rus),
Atherina mochon Cuvier, 1829 Mediterranean Aterina (Rus),
Atherina mochon aegyptia Boulenger, 1907 Mediterranean Atherina (Rus),
Atherina mochon caspia Eichwald, 1831 Caspian atherina (Rus),
Atherina mochon pontica Eichwald, 1831 Black Sea atherina, Black Sea-Caspian atherinka (Rus),
Atherina mochon pontica n. caspia Eichwald, 1831 Caspian atherinka (Rus),
Atherina mochon riqueti Roule, 1902
Atherina pontica Eichwald, 1831
Atherina pontica caspia Kessler, 1874
Atherina presbyter caspia Eichwald, 1831
Atherina presbyter pontica Eichwald, 1831
Atherina riqueti Roule, 1902 Mediterranean Aterina (Rus),
Atherina risso Valenciennes, 1835 Mediterranean atherina (Rus),
Atherina rissoi Günther, 1861
Atherina sarda Valenciennes, 1835 Mediterranean atherina (Rus),
Atherina sardinella Fowler, 1903

Atherina Black Sea - Atherina mochon pontica (Eichwald, 1831)
The eyes are large; their diameter is equal to the length of the snout. The pectoral fins lie just above the midline of the body. D1 7-9, D2 11-14. A 14-16. In the middle row are 44-52 flakes. Body color is silver with a longitudinal bluish-silver stripe on the sides. Body length is about 12 cm. It lives in sea and brackish waters of the Black and Azov Seas.
* Caspian Atherin - Atherina mochon caspia (Eichwald, 1831)
The subspecies is distinguished by a smaller number of gill stamens, size and range. Body length up to 10 cm. It lives in the Caspian Sea, in adjacent reservoirs. When the mullet was introduced into the Aral Sea, atherin was accidentally brought there, which multiplied and became an important component of the ichthyofauna of the reservoir.

The family includes the Black Sea-Caspian atherinka (Atherina mochon pontica Eichwald, 1831). Silver fish with a prominent lower jaw, large eyes, a shiny strip on the sides and two traditional dorsal fins, 9-14 cm in size. The juvenile matures in 12-18 months. The female is fuller and paler than the male. Fertility is about 300 sticky eggs with a diameter of 1.3-1.5 mm. In the aquarium, fish live up to 3 years, atherinks in a pack look especially impressive. Withstand salinity up to 45 ‰.

The spawning period of this species in the Black Sea is significantly extended. Fish with flowing sexual products are found in Karadag from March to September, mainly in April - August (Tkacheva, 1950). In the Sea of ​​Azov, spawning occurs from May to August (Vorobyov, 1940). In the Gulf of Naples, spawning occurs from May to June, as Viali indicates (1933), and in the Gulf of Trieste from May to July (Graeffe, cited in Vialli, 1933).
Spawning and normal development of eggs and larvae occur with a significant range of salinity - from 7 to 38–39 ‰ and higher. In the Sea of ​​Azov, atherin spawns in the desalinated Taganrog Bay, in its western part, where water salinity does not exceed 7 ‰, in the Prikubansky district, under conditions of average salinity for this sea and in Sivash Bay with salinity up to 36 ‰ (Svetovidov, 1949). As V.P. Vorobyov (1940) points out, young atherins of much more adult forms are adapted to high salinity and low oxygen content. It is found in large quantities in those areas of Sivash where salinity reaches 72 ‰. In the Caspian Sea, spawning of this species was recorded in the highly desalinated northern part, as well as in the Komsomolets and Kaydak bays with salinity of 42-60 ‰ (Meshkov, 1937, Svetovidov, 1949). In the Mediterranean Sea, spawning occurs at a salinity of 37–38 ‰.
Judging by the greatly extended breeding season, the water temperature at which spawning occurs, the development of eggs and larvae also varies significantly. Consequently, Atherina mochon pontica at all stages of ontogenesis is widely euryhaline and eurythermic. Description and drawings of eggs and larvae are given according to A. N. Kanidiev (1961).
Spherical eggs are laid on algae. The secondary membrane over the entire surface is equipped with filamentous outgrowths, with the help of which the eggs are interlinked in small groups and attached to algae. In the surface layer of the yolk sac there are numerous fat droplets of different sizes (Fig. 15, a). The diameter of live developing eggs is 1.5-1.6 mm.

By the time of hatching, the atherine embryos are already well formed. The eyes turn intensely black and slightly rotate. Jaws take shape and acquire mobility. Gill petals and gill covers form. The pectoral fins reach large sizes and acquire mobility. Four large melanophores form on the head, three - a triangle behind the eyes and one - on the back of the head (Fig. 15, b). In the process of embryonic development, an embryonic respiratory system is formed on the yolk sac, which decreases shortly after hatching. Embryonic development at a water temperature of 22-25 ° lasts 10 days.
Larvae hatch on average 6.5 mm long. The trunk is very short, it is about 23% of the body length. Gill covers cover gill arches. The mouth is well formed, facing up. Jaws relatively shorter than definitive. The fin border mainly retains the embryonic character, only in the tail region begins the laying of supporting elements. Pigmentation is characteristic - there are four large spots on the head. Stellate cells are located on the upper side of the body cavity. Smaller black pigment cells are located along the chord and the ventral side of the body (Fig. 15, c). The larvae are almost constantly in motion - they rise to the surface, then sink to the bottom of the aquarium. During the first days after hatching, the yolk sac is resorbed. The swimming bladder is filled with air (Fig. 15, d). At this age, the larvae already begin to swim in flocks and actively hunt for food (Kanidiev, 1961).

Fish with mature sexual products are found in Karadag at the same time as Atherina hepsetus - from April to July (Tkacheva, 1950). There are no data on the development of eggs and larvae of this species in the literature.

Distribution and abundance of larvae. Atherin larvae and fry belong to the most common and numerous coastal forms. They occur from May to September along the entire coast of the Black Sea near the coast, in bays and lagoons (Zernov, 1913, Pchelina, 1936, 1940, Tkacheva, 1950, Georgiev et al., 1960, our observations).
Larvae and fry always keep in flocks in the surface layer at a depth of 10-15 cm. With cooling, they depart from the coast, where they winter in the water column (Tkacheva, 1950).
In our materials, atherin larvae are found very rarely, since ichthyoplankton was not collected in their habitats - in the immediate vicinity of the coasts. Above the cystozira thickets off the coast of Crimea, atherin larvae naturally occur in plankton from May to September (Gordina, unpublished data).

24.1.1. Atherina mochon pontica Eichwald, 1831 - Aterina (B.: 1001).

Russian Aterina n t. Danube - Grits. Atherinka - Grimm, 1878: 36. Dolgulka - Gr. : 246. Dolgul - Dahl. Dolgunka Odessa - A. Nick.: 559. Katerinka n t. Danube - Grits. Marine smelt - TKS: 139. Gerbil - Prom. R. : 550. Sand Ingot Black m.: Odessa. - A. Nick. : 559. Senic Black m., Sinitka Black m. - Zol. Snout Crimea, Gnarling Gudgeon Crimea - B.: 1001. Ferinka Black m.: Odessa. - Zol., N. t. Danube - Grits. Black Sea Atherinka - TKS: 140. Ukrainian Atherinka - Mark. : 161. Dovgulka, Zvichayna atherinka - Tat. : 79. Korichneva atherina - Winogr., 1960: 60. Sandcasts, Pischana atherinka, Sinitka, Snitok-piskar - Tat. : 79. Ferina, Ferinka - Mark. : 161. Bulgarian Pontic Srebar, Srebar - Drensky: 136. ital. Aterina, Aterina alicina, Lagone alicino, Latterino comune, Longariello Naples - Costa, II: 13. isp. Asset Catalonia, Cabessat Catalonia, Cabessuda Balearic Islands Chirrete, Mocho Balearic Islands Mochon Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Moixo Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Moixonet Balearic Islands Mucho Balearic Islands Pejerrey Andalusia - Lozano. room. Aterina, Comsa - Vasiliu: 279. Azerb. Atherinka - Abdur. : 324.

24.1.1 (a). Atherina mochon pontica n. caspia Eichwald, 1831 - Caspian atherinka (B.: 1003).
Russian Caspian Atherinka - B., 1933: 613,

Life of animals. Volume 4. Pisces Edited by Professor T. S. Rass 1971

Of the three species living in the Black Sea, two - the Black Sea atherin (Atherina mochon pontica) and brown atherin (A. bonapartei) - live only in the narrow coastal zone, and the third (A. hepsetus) - is kept in open waters, approaching the coast only for spawning.
Especially common in the Black Sea, and in the summertime and in the Sea of ​​Azov, the Black Sea atherina is one of the most common small pelagic fish in the reservoir, second only to hamsa and sprat in terms of its number. This fish is found not only in the sea, but also enters fresh water, in particular in rivers such as the Southern Bug and the Dniester. She also enters the heavily salted Sivash. Spawning occurs throughout the summer (from April to September), and caviar is laid in many portions. The average female fecundity averages about 600 eggs. Spawning atherins can be found in a wide variety of conditions: salinity in breeding sites ranges, for example, from 7 to 36 ‰. Juveniles are often kept in lagoons and coastal puddles, puberty occurs already in the second year of life. The greatest length of the Black Sea atherina at the age of five does not exceed 15 cm, however, smaller specimens are more common. Food of this species, like other atherins of the Black Sea, consists of planktonic crustaceans, mainly copepods and mysids, and it is used as food for pikeperch, horse mackerel, beluga and other predators.
The Caspian atherin (Atherina mochon caspia) lives in the Caspian Sea. It is one of the few forms of Mediterranean origin in the fauna of this reservoir. Aterina is found along all coasts of the sea and even enters completely fresh water. Spawning of this fish here also occurs under various salinization conditions: in the Kaydak Bay (before it dries), the larvae were caught even at a salinity of 45 ‰. Separate populations of Caspian atherina exist in two isolated lakes of Uzboy - the ancient parched channel of the Amu Darya, where this fish is a relic of one of the recent Caspian transgressions. During acclimatization activities, atherin was accidentally introduced into the Aral Sea, where she found quite suitable environmental conditions. Atherins, which in many areas are among the most common small fish, feed many predators. They have commercial value.

1. Atherina mochon pontica Eichwald. - Atherinka
(In Odessa, also - a little ferenka, in Crimea - a smelt (wrong), a smelt-gudgeon)
Atherina presbyter var. pontica Eichwald, Zool. spec., III, 1831, p. 72 (Odessa).
Atherina pontica Eichwald, Ball. Soc. Nat. Moscou, 1838, p. 137 (Black Sea), Fauna caspio-caucas., 1841, p. 206, pl. Xxxiii, fig. 3-4 (Black Sea). - Kessler, Tr. SPb. total est., V, 1874, p. 296.
Atherina rissoi Borsieri, Annali di Agricoltura, 1904, Roma, 1904, p. 175, 186 (part: Sevastopol).
Atherina pontica Berg, Freshwater fish of Russia, 1916, p. 381.
Atherina caspia Jordan and Hubbs, Studies in Ichthyology, Atherinidae, Stanford Univ., 1919, p. 36 (part: Odessa).
Atherina pontica Beling, Zbirn. prc Dnipr. biol. Art., II, 1927, cg. 349 (Yu. Bug near the village of Petrovsky, 30 km above Nikolaev).
Atherina mochon pontica Berg, Freshwater fish of the USSR, II, 1933, p. 612. - Meshkov, Izv. Acad. USSR Science, Biol., 1941, No. 3, p. 402 (Novorossiysk, Kerch, Kuban estuaries, Sevastopol, 25 specimens, toad tych. 27–32, average 29, squ. 48–52, vertebrae 45–47 , melting bubble comes in 8-11, middle 9.5, of the caudal vertebrae).

D VII —IX, I 10-13, A I 13-15, squ. 44-52. The pectoral fins reach or nearly reach the base of the ventral. Rear corners of the mouth under the front edge of the pupil. The length of the head is about 5 times, the greatest height of the body is 6.5-7.5 times in the length of the whole body (from the tails. Smoothly). The diameter of the eye is about 3 times in the length of the head and is noticeably larger than the width of the forehead and the length of the snout. Gill covers and infraorbital bones are covered with scales. 25–32 stamens on the 1st branchial arch. The prominent lower jaw enters the notch of the upper jaw. The beginning of I D is noticeably behind the base of V, the beginning of II D is slightly behind the beginning of A. The distance from the top of the snout to the beginning of I D is slightly less than the distance from the beginning of I D to the base C. The 2nd dorsal fin is oblique, anal slightly notched. Caudal emarginate. The vertebrae are 48–52, of which 20–22 are trunk and 24–26 are caudal. In the anterior 8-11 caudal vertebrae, the hemal arches are widened and cover the back of the swim bladder with a ring, these extensions fuse together without leaving gaps (M.M. Meshkov, Uch.Zap. Leningra. Univ., No. 15 (1937), 1938, pp. 319–333, 1941, pp. 401–405, fig.). In some species of the genus Atherina, the swimming bladder in its posterior part lies in the “channel of the caudal vertebrae”, both Cuvier and Valenciennes write (X, 1835, p. 416). See also Gunther (Cat. Fish., III, 1861, p. 395, Atherina boyeri). The silvery strip on the sides is the width of one row of scales. Length up to 125 mm.

Close to the Mediterranean Atherina mochon Cuvier 1829 (This species has 22–26 toads. Tych., Squ. 45–46, vertebrae 45–46. But Atherina mochon Borsieri (1. pp., P. 167) from the coast of Italy there is another species , Atherina bonapartei Boulenger 1907, for the Black Sea Atherina bonapartei see: Meshkov, 1941, and Tkacheva, Dopovidi Akad. Nauk URSR, Viddil Biol. 30–34, vertebrae 42–45, scales 48–50, coloration light brown.) Bags indicates for Atherina bonapartei 45–47 vertebrae.) = Risso Valenciennes 1835 (Nice) = sarda Val. 1835 (Sardinia) = lacustris Bonaparte 1836 (Lake Albano in Italy) = riqueti Roule 1902 (southern France, in fresh water) = mochon var. aegyptiaca Boulenger 1907 (lakes of Egypt), from which it differs by slightly smaller scales and a large number of vertebrae and gill stamens.
Black and Azov Seas. Sometimes it comes to fresh waters: the Dniester at Ackerman, the Bug to the village. Petrovsky, Dnieper to Berislav (A. Krotov, Nature, 1933, No. 5-6, p. 122.), Lake Alexander at Batumi (Deryugin, Annual. Zool. Musical Academic Sciences, IV, 1899, p. 153. )

la. Atherina mochon pontica natio caspia Eichwald. - Caspian atherinka
Atherina presbyter var. caspia Eichwald, Zool. spec., III, 1831, p. 72 (Balkhan Bay).
Atherina caspia Eichwald, Bull. Soc. Nat. Moscou, 1838, p. 136 (Balkhan Bay), Fauna caspio-caucas., 1840, p. 205, pl. Xxxiii, fig. 1-2 (ibid.).
Atherina pontica var. caspia Kessler, Tr. SPb. total eats., V, 1874, p. 298.
Atherina rissoi Borsieri 1904, 1. pp. (part: Caspian Sea).
Atherina pontica caspia Berg, Freshwater fish of Russia, 1916, p. 382. - Bulgakov, Bull. Wed Asian Univ., vol. 18, No. 2, 1929 (Lake Topyatan in the Uzboy valley, Turkmenistan).
Atherina mochon pontica natio caspia Berg, Freshwater fish of the USSR, II, 1933, p. 613. - Svetovidov, Tr. Com by study. Casp m., I, issue 1.1937, p. 200 (Dead Kultuk and Kaydak bays all the way to the south, near Lenkoran in fresh water).
Atherina mochon caspia Meshkov, Izv. Acad. USSR Science, Biol., 1941, No. 3, p. 402 (25 ind., Apparently from the Dead Kultuk and Kaydak Bay, toad tych. 22-26, average 22.8, squ. 48-51, vertebrae 46-48 , melting bladder enters 4-7, middle 5.1, caudal vertebrae).

It differs from the Black Sea by a wider head in front, 21–26 gill stamens, more strongly developed teeth, and a brighter side stripe. 46-48 vertebrae, of which 22-24 are trunk and 23-24 of the caudal, in the anterior 4-7 caudal vertebrae, the hemal arches are widened and cover the swimming bladder with a ring (M. Meshkov, 1. pp.). Length up to 149 mm, usually less.
Along the shores of the Caspian Sea. There are in front of the mouths of the Urals. At the mouths of the Kura and Kumbashi rivers (N. Varpakhovsky, Russian Shipping, 1895, May, p. 32. - In the Zoological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR there are specimens from the lower reaches of the Kura River at the former Divine Providence, No. 4131 (collection by acad. Ovsyannikov), 46-48 mm of length (abs.).). Lenkoran has fresh water. It is found in the lakes Topyatan (No. 25790) and Karategelik in the Uzboy valley, where it is a relic of one of the Caspian transgressions.

In 1935, spawning in the hall. The dead Kultuk began in early May, the height fell on the second half of May and the first half of June, probably continued in July. The diameter of the eggs is 1.3–1.5 mm, the eggs are sticky, with processes (up to 15 in number) that surround aquatic plants (mainly Cladophora). Spawning occurred even in a highly salted room. Kaidak. Larvae were found at salinity greater than 45 ‰ (Sacks).