Barbatula barbatula, Stone loach : fisheries, aquarium, bait

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Barbatula barbatula (Linnaeus, 1758)

Stone loach
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Barbatula barbatula
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Cypriniformes (Carps) > Nemacheilidae (Brook loaches)
Etymology: Barbatula: Diminutive of Latin barba,-ae = beard (Ref. 45335).
More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 7.7; dH range: 10 - 15; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Temperate; ? - 18°C (Ref. 13371); 67°N - 39°N, 6°W - 59°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eurasia: Europe north of Caucasus, Pyrénées and Alps, from Loire and Rhone drainages eastward; British Isles ( except northern Scotland), southern Sweden and Finland (northward to about 66°N); northeastern Italy; Danube and Vardar drainages (Ref. 59043); Asia to China (Ref. 6111).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 21.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1441); common length : 12.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5504); max. published weight: 200.00 g (Ref. 5504); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 6111)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 3; Dorsal soft rays (total): 6-8; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 5 - 6. Distinguished from its congeners in Europe by the following combination of characters: caudal fin usually slightly emarginate (truncate in a few populations); pelvic origin beneath dorsal origin or under branched dorsal rays 1-2; caudal peduncle depth 1.4-2.2 (usually 1.6-2.0) times in its length, 1.2-1.8 times in body depth; often lacking dark blotches along back between nape and dorsal (Ref. 59043). Body elongated, anteriorly somewhat depressed, posteriorly laterally compressed. Three pairs of mouth barbels. No erectile spine below eye. Posterior margin of caudal fin slightly notched. Caudal fin with 15-17 rays (Ref. 2196).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Facultative or obligate air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Usually found in flowing stretches of streams and medium-sized rivers with gravel to stone bottom, but also in a variety of other habitats, including sandy canals and lake shores. Larvae are benthic. Larvae and small juveniles prefer sand bottom and slow current, shifting to gravel bottom and fast current when growing. Adults prey on relatively large benthic invertebrates such as gammarids, chironomids, insect larvae. They breed on gravel, sand or among aquatic vegetation. Tolerate moderate organic pollution and stream canalization and very sensitive to pollution by heavy metals (Ref. 59043). Sensitive to pollution and low oxygen levels, therefore, its presence in a river can be taken as an indication of good water quality (Ref. 6111).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Spawns once a year for several years in low productivity streams, but exhibits multiple spawning within a season in high productivity environments (Ref. 40290, 40756). Releases eggs in open open water, often close to surface. Eggs drift and adhere to different substrates and are often covered by sand or detritus. Individual females may spawn daily for a short period (Ref. 59043).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof, 2007. Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol and Freyhof, Berlin. 646 pp. (Ref. 59043)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 05 March 2010


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums; bait: occasionally
FAO - Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Alien/Invasive Species database | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | DORIS | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | Public aquariums | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00388 - 0.02580), b=3.05 (2.83 - 3.27), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.3   ±0.0 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 4.6 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2-3).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (37 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.