Rubber — a true freshwater predator (albeit a small one) – the fish lives in different rivers and lakes, feeds on even smaller fish, larvae of waterfowl, worms, etc. The rudd owes its name to red fins, although in different places this fish has its own, highly specific names. Red-eyed, red-winged, red-winged roach, shirt, soruga, chernukha and many others, even more pretentious. According to modern classification, this fish belongs to the class of ray-finned fish, family of cyprinids.
Origin of the species and description
Rudd is distinguished by a high body, flattened on the sides, as well as a small head. Her teeth are very sharp (this is understandable, because the fish is predatory), sawtooth and arranged in 2 rows. The scales of the rudd are very large, one might even say — dense. In general, the rudd has 37-44 scales on the sides. The maximum body length of the rudd can reach 50 cm, while the fish weighs no more than 2-2.1 kg.
Although in the vast majority of cases, the size and weight of the average rudd is much smaller. This feature is explained by the fact that the rudd is one of the slowest growing fish (in the 1st year of life, its body length increases to only 4.5 mm), so that only adults and even old (naturally) can reach the indicated maximum size and weight. , by fish standards) individuals.
The rudd has a bright color, its back is dark brown in color, with a shiny, somewhat greenish tint. In some subspecies, it is brown-green. The scales on the abdomen are shiny, silvery in color, and the sides are golden. Naturally, the rudd's fins, which gave it its name, are bright red. Regarding the appearance of this fish, there is one very interesting point. It lies in the fact that the color of young individuals is not as bright as that of mature and adult rudd. Most likely, this feature is explained by the specifics of the “growing up” of these fish.
The life expectancy of rudd varies from 10 to 19 years. Regarding species diversity, today it is customary to distinguish several subspecies of rudd, which differ not only in the specifics of their appearance, but also prefer different habitats (rudd, in fact, live not only in Russian and European reservoirs – these fish are found almost everywhere).
The species Scardinius erythrophthalmus is a “common rudd” found in many water bodies in Europe and Russia. On average, her body length reaches 25 cm, and her weight — 400 g. Very rarely, when it happens more. But despite its small size and natural caution, the fish is popular among recreational fishermen.
Appearance and features
Often even experienced fishermen confuse rudd with a similar and more common fish – roach. This is quite understandable, because their external similarity is obvious. But despite this, there are several signs by which these two species can be differentiated (even before the prey is cooked and eaten).
So, how does the roach differ from the rudd:
- The body of the rudd is wider and taller than that of the roach. In addition, the rudd is much less covered with mucus;
- the color of the roach is not so bright and beautiful – the rudd looks much more “spectacular”;
- the eyes of the rudd are orange, while those of the roach are blood red;
- there are differences in the structure and number of teeth. Roach (herbivorous fish) cannot boast of pointed teeth, and they are located in one row. In the case of the rudd, you can immediately notice 2 rows of sharp and strong teeth, ideal for eating small animals and fish;
- the scales of the roach are somewhat larger;
- there is a difference in species behavior, although the fisherman can only assess it indirectly. The thing is that the roach gathers in very large flocks, while the rudd prefers to settle “in several families”.
Where does the rudd live?
Rudd as a habitat chooses areas of reservoirs overgrown with algae and reeds, with a slow current or its complete absence. Therefore, the waters of flowing ponds, lakes, as well as quiet backwaters of rivers are ideal options for rudd. No matter how strange it may sound, but the rudd does not favor fresh water. And the presence of a strong current for her in general is a factor that determines the unsuitability of the reservoir for living. Accordingly, the rudd is unlikely to be caught in mountainous, fast rivers – she does not like such reservoirs.
The rudd almost never goes under the floating shores – the favorite habitat of the tench in any weather. Moreover, the fish never hides (even in the heat) under bushes and roots protruding from the banks. In this, by the way, one more of its differences from roach can be traced – even if it is forced to share one reservoir with rudd, it adheres to much more open places. Yes, and swims, for the most part, close to the bottom. Rudd can often be seen near bathhouses, bridges and rafts — but only if there is no aquatic vegetation nearby.
Regarding the current – yes, the rudd does not like it, but it has nothing against the weak, willingly keeping close to the mill whirlpool. This place attracts rudd with an abundance of food. In terms of speed of movement, it is in no way inferior to roach, and those fishermen who have seen how much it splashes or, more correctly, somersaults, playing on the water surface, unanimously assert that this splash is made by a much stronger fish than roach.
Now you know where the rudd is found. Let's see what she eats.
What does the rudd eat?
In terms of diet, rudd is completely unpretentious, despite the fact that it is a typical predator.
In fact, this fish is omnivorous, and eats almost everything:
- various larvae of aquatic insects and the insects themselves ;
- freshwater clam caviar;
- plant foods, namely: algae, plankton and young shoots of aquatic plants.
There is one important feature in terms of diet — young rudd exclusively consume zooplankton. And only at the onset of puberty do they switch to “omnivorous”, consuming more varied food. The food of an adult rudd, in addition to all of the above, is represented by young shoots of aquatic plants and filamentous algae. She does not disdain the caviar of other fish, and the young also eat with pleasure.
In the summer, rudd very willingly consume snail caviar, which they throw on the back of the leaves of water lilies (meaning on the one that faces the water). So, when you go fishing on a wonderful June evening, you can hear in the thickets of water lilies, you can hear a universal ringing smacking – this is the rudd intensively cleaning off the slimy caviar of snails that have adhered to the leaves of water lilies, thus intensively reducing the population of the latter. A similar sound is made in the air by a caught rudd.
Character and lifestyle features
By mid-late September, young rudds massively move into reeds and, most likely, winter there. Adult, sexually mature individuals, at this time, prefer to stay in deeper places. Rudds try to appear less and less often at the surface of the water. As a result, they lie down for the winter in October. In short, starting from mid-October, you can not even hope to catch rudd. At the very least, you won't be able to do it with a regular float rod.
In ponds and lakes, as well as in shallow rivers, in winter, when oxygen becomes insufficient, the rudd floats closer to the surface. At this time, it can be caught in large quantities. Although it should be noted that the rudd — very hardy fish. It is almost as unpretentious to water quality as tench, and much stronger, more tenacious than ordinary roach.
A significant population of the common rudd is due to the fact that the capture of this fish is associated with significant difficulties & # 8212; it is very difficult to catch it, because the rudd shows increased caution. The fish rarely appears in open spaces, and in case of danger it instantly hides in thickets of aquatic vegetation – this feature is more difficult for natural enemies. But the fishermen pay attention to the fact that rudd fishing can only take place on bright yellow lures. A feature of this fish is the complete disregard for lures of other colors.
An interesting fact: Rudd (all its subspecies) have not acquired industrial significance. Cause — somewhat bitter taste. But for sport anglers, it is of great interest – mainly due to the wide habitat and the difficulty of catching. The rudd is not caught in order to cook an ear out of it – the process of catching is important for fishermen.
Social structure and reproduction
At 3-5 years of life, the rudd reaches sexual maturity. By this time, its size is already about 11-12 cm in length, and the fish is ready for spawning. The duration of this process is 2-3 months, from April or May (the beginning depends on the habitat) and until the end of June. Please note that this period is relevant subject to an average temperature of 16-20 degrees. At the time of the start of spawning, the color of the rudd becomes much brighter and more expressive than at all other times.
Fish caviar is swept away on aquatic plants, and the rudd does not release it all at once, but strictly dosed. Another feature of these fish is that before the moment of reproduction, 2 portions of caviar do not already ripen, and the 3rd is formed right at the time of spawning. The eggs themselves are sticky, 1-1.5 mm in diameter. On average, the rudd lays up to 232 thousand eggs, but it is very difficult for those who like to profit from unborn fry (the eggs are usually attached to the roots of aquatic plants, and the rudd is really masterful at masking them).
The duration of the incubation period does not exceed 3 days. When fry hatch, their length is 5 mm, and upon reaching 30 mm, a specific fry period begins. The rudd population is limited by the fact that many potential fry die during the incubation period, becoming «breakfast» small predators.
An interesting fact: The large population of rudd is also explained by the fact that under certain circumstances, they can mate with other representatives of fish belonging to the carp family. Therefore, hybrids of rudd with crucian carp, tench, bream, and even more so — with roach. Moreover, what is most interesting, contrary to the laws of genetics, the hybrids resulting from such crossing do not lose their ability to reproduce and safely give fertile offspring. This feature is another condition contributing to the rapid growth of the common rudd population.
Natural enemies of the rudd
Due to the large population, the common rudd very often becomes a delicacy for such freshwater predators as pikes, catfish and perches – large fish have learned to overcome all its “tricks”. In principle, it is the presence of natural enemies that is the main factor limiting the growth of the rudd population – in this way, it is possible to maintain balance in the ecosystem of water bodies, because the “red roach” breeds in significant quantities.
Accordingly, in the absence of deterrent factors, fish becomes trash. Carp do not dare to attack sexually mature rudd, it is problematic for them to find caviar (the latter hide it too securely), but it’s easy to feast on the young. Snails are considered another enemy of the rudd – small and large pond snails. Let's just say they “reciprocate” her by destroying the eggs.
However, the main enemy of the red-finned roach remains a person – and not an ordinary fisherman with a fishing rod, and not even a poacher with a net. The growth of the population of these fish is so rapid that, with all the desire, they cannot be exterminated. But industrial emissions from enterprises cause irreparable damage to the rudd. But even with this problem, rudds have adapted to cope – after emissions of harmful substances, they massively migrate upstream, and then return. Harm from chemical emissions for other fish species is much more detrimental.
Population and species status
In addition to the ubiquitous common redeye, there are several other varieties of these fish.
Rudd Scardinius acarnanicus. This subspecies of rudd lives exclusively in the south of Greece, being a classic example of an endemic. The body of this fish reaches up to 33 cm in length. Despite the differences in the distribution of the area, this rudd has insignificant differences from the common rudd – the difference between these two subspecies is only in the specific structure of the fins and in the number of gill rakers.
Scardinius acarnanicus spawns from early March to July inclusive. It is noteworthy that such a deplorable prospect affects only the rudd Scardinius acarnanicus, Scardinius racovitzai and Scardinius graecus (it will be discussed below). Populations of all other subspecies are steadily expanding their range.
Greek rudd. The Latin name of this subspecies — Scardinius graecus. It is also known as the Iliki rudd – the name is given by the habitat (the fish inhabits Lake Iliki, located in central Greece). Its distinguishing feature is its length – the body size of adults can reach up to 40 cm. Ichthyologists associate the decline in the population of this subspecies with a decrease in the food supply.
Rubber Scardinius racovitzai. This species of rudd lives in the thermal spring Petzea (Baile Epiropesti), located in the west of Romania. This type of rudd is the smallest in size, the maximum length of their body does not exceed 8.5 cm. The narrowing of the habitat of these rudd is associated with the pollution of their natural habitat.
An interesting fact: You can find references to the fact that in the Far East – Sakhalin and in the fresh waters of Japan there is another fish with a similar name – the Far Eastern rudd. Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with our ordinary rudd, despite the similar name. According to modern classification, the Far Eastern rudd belongs to a completely different genus of fish.
It can be said that the rudd is a rather calm, unpretentious fish, leads a sedentary (with rare exceptions) image life, almost never leaving their native waters. The only exceptions are emissions of harmful substances or the shallowing of rivers (lakes, ponds). Rudd live in small flocks, and quite peacefully – despite the fact that they are predators. Pisces very rarely conflict with each other – but they do not celebrate strangers. Rudds live with low intraspecific competition, a large population for them is not a reason to share the territory with each other.