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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 8:55 EDT

Eurasian minnow

The Eurasian minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus) is a species of freshwater fish. It is a member of the carp family (family Cyprinidae) of order Cypriniformes, and is the type species of genus Phoxinus. It is ubiquitous throughout much of Eurasia, from Britain and Spain to eastern Siberia, predominantly in cold 53.6- 68°F (12″“20°C) streams and well-oxygenated lakes and ponds. It is noted for being a gregarious species, shoaling in large numbers.

The species is of drab coloration and unremarkable appearance, although the males display a red belly during the spawning season. It reaches a maximum overall length of 5.51 in (14 cm).

This fish is the archetypal minnow, and is also known as the common or European minnow. It is known by a great variety of names in the various languages spoken across its range: the French grisette, the German Elritze, the Russian гольян (gol’jan), etc. There are also many obsolete binomial synonyms; the original name assigned by Linnaeus was Cyprinus phoxinus.

The Eurasian minnow is used commercially primarily as bait. It is also important in laboratory research; this is due to its stereotypical fishlike qualities. They are also some of the slowest fish.

Eurasian minnow