Common roach

A new species of fish found in the Lambrok: a common roach (Rutilus rutilus).

We have cheated with the header picture; it was downloaded from Google. The specimen identified and photographed by Ian Bushell was found newly dead (see below) in the Dog Pond on Thursday afternoon. Ian writes:

Small fishes were causing much disturbance in the shallows of the Dog Pond abutting the grass.  Then I found this dead specimen at the water’s edge and managed to retrieve it. It had not been dead long. I have identified it as a Roach – Rutilus rutilus.

A dead specimen of common roach found and identified by Ian Bushell

Common roach live in well-vegetated freshwater eco-systems; the vegetation protects the larvae and young fish. Mature fish do eat the vegetation but the majority of their diet is invertebrates. The young fish feed mainly on plankton, small and microscopic organisms floating in the water. The roach can adapt to environments where food is scarce by slowing their growth

The spawning season is generally from March to June but Ian’s description of much disturbance in the shallows sounds exactly like a roach spawning frenzy. The males form schools, which females enter; the behaviour is rough as the males compete for female attention and the fish often jump out of the water.

At spawning time they seem oblivious to the danger of predators or to the danger of leaping right out the water onto dry land. This poor dead specimen, which has at least given us the opportunity of an accurate identification, may have fallen prey to either.

The only other explanation for much disturbance would be the presence of a predator fish.. . . .

More inhabitants of the Lambrok:

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