Osmerus eperlanus

  • Scientific name
  • Osmerus eperlanus (Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Common name
  • European smelt

  • Family
  • Osmeridae

  • External links
  • Fishbase
Trait completeness 76%
Total data151
References20
Image of Osmerus eperlanus

Author: Fabrice Téletchéa
License: All rights reserved

Traits detail



Egg (100%)


Trait id Trait Primary data Secondary Data References
4 Egg adhesiveness Fertilized eggs adhere to the substratum Adhesive Belyanina, 1969
4 Egg adhesiveness Attach themselves to the sand Non-Adhesive Ivanova and Polovka, 1972
4 Egg adhesiveness Fertilized eggs are adhesive Adhesive Buckley, 1989
4 Egg adhesiveness Adhesive [Stick to gravels during beginning of embryogenesis then derive] Adhesive Billard, 1997
4 Egg adhesiveness Adhesive Adhesive Rochard, 2001
4 Egg adhesiveness Highly adhesive Adhesive Maitland, 2003
4 Egg adhesiveness Adhesive Adhesive Kunz, 2004
4 Egg adhesiveness Adhesive Adhesive Quigley, 2004
4 Egg adhesiveness With stalk, sticky Adhesive Fishbase, 2006
4 Egg adhesiveness After spawning, the outer envelope bursts in the water and becomes sticky Adhesive Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
5 Incubation time 10-14 12.0 days Belyanina, 1969
5 Incubation time 29 days [6-7°C], 25 days [7-8°C], 19 days [9-10°C], 11 days [12°C], 8 days at [16.5°C] 6.5 days Buckley, 1989
5 Incubation time 20-35 27.5 days Rochard, 2001
5 Incubation time Hatching normally occurs after 20-35 days depending on temperature 27.5 days Quigley, 2004
5 Incubation time Hatching completes at all temperatures: 200 ts, with ts 152 min at 9.5°C, 116 at 10.8°C, 98 at 12°C, 76 at 13.8°C and 48 at 18.3°C, i.e. : 21.1 days [At 9.5°C], 16.1 days [At 10.8°C], 13.6 days [At12.0°C], 10.5 days [At 13.8°C], and 6.7 days [At 18.3°C] 200.0 days Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
7 Degree-days for incubation From 60-110 to 140-180 85.0 °C * day Belyanina, 1969
7 Degree-days for incubation 29 days [6-7°C], 25 days [7-8°C], 19 days [9-10°C], 11 days [12°C], 8 days at [16.5°C] 6.5 °C * day Buckley, 1989
7 Degree-days for incubation 21.1 days [At 9.5°C], 16.1 days [At 10.8°C], 13.6 days [At12.0°C], 10.5 days [At 13.8°C], and 6.7 days [At 18.3°C] 21.1 °C * day Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
7 Degree-days for incubation The fish hatch as larvae after 17 days at 12°C 17.0 °C * day Sepulveda, 1994
6 Temperature for incubation 8.5-10.5 9.5 °C Belyanina, 1969
6 Temperature for incubation From 6 to 16.5 6.0 °C Buckley, 1989
6 Temperature for incubation The eggs' incubation was carried out at a constant temperature. For the observations of eggs and larval development, the following temperature regimes were used: 9.5, 10.8, 12.0, 13.8 and 18.3°C 9.5 °C Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
2 Egg size after water-hardening After extrusion into water, the egg immeadiatly swells, its diameter increases about 0.2 mm 0.2 mm Belyanina, 1969
2 Egg size after water-hardening 1.1 [Fully hardened eggs] 1.1 mm Penaz, 1981
2 Egg size after water-hardening Fertilized eggs range in size from 1.0-1.2 mm 1.1 mm Buckley, 1989
2 Egg size after water-hardening 0.9-1.1 [Seems to be fertilized eggs] 1.0 mm Bonislawska, 2001
2 Egg size after water-hardening The diameter of the swollen eggs is 1.0-1.1 mm 1.05 mm Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
3 Egg Buoyancy Some of the eggs become detached and float with help of the outer coat, but seems to be only dead eggs Pelagic Belyanina, 1969
3 Egg Buoyancy Eggs sink to the bottom Demersal Ivanova and Polovka, 1972
3 Egg Buoyancy Fertilized eggs are demersal Demersal Buckley, 1989
3 Egg Buoyancy Demersal Demersal Rochard, 2001
3 Egg Buoyancy Are deposited on a range of substrates around the limit of the tidal influence Demersal Quigley, 2004
3 Egg Buoyancy Demersal Demersal Kunz, 2004
3 Egg Buoyancy Demersal [On the bottom] Demersal Fishbase, 2006
3 Egg Buoyancy May stick to different substrates at the bottom of water body Demersal Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
1 Oocyte diameter Average 0.70-0.80, range 0.55-1.06 0.75 mm Belyanina, 1969
1 Oocyte diameter Mode 0.95, range 0.6-1.3 [Not specified] 0.95 mm Fishbase, 2006
1 Oocyte diameter Diameter of the mature oocytes is 0.7-0.8 mm 0.75 mm Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
1 Oocyte diameter The egg, which has a diameter ranging from 0.75 to 0.90 mm 0.75 mm Sepulveda, 1994

Larvae (71%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
11 Temperature during larval development The observation of larval develoment was held at the five following regimes at constant temperature: 9.5, 10.8, 12.0, 13.8 and 18.3°C 9.5 °C Mel'nikova and Gorodilov, 2006
10 Reaction to light Hatching larvae react positively to light [But strong light destroys developing eggs] Photopositive Belyanina, 1969
10 Reaction to light Yolk-sac larvae have been reported to be negatively phototactic Photophobic Buckley, 1989
13 Full yolk-sac resorption 120-140 [Live without feeding for 10-14 days at 10-12°C] 130.0 °C * day Belyanina, 1969
13 Full yolk-sac resorption In talking about larval development, we refer to the period from hatching of the embryo from egg shell to full resorption of the vitelline sac. As the age of the smelt is counted in relative duration untis, the larval period falls in the age interval between 200 and 340 ts. The duration of the larval development may be counted easily for each temperature regime using the following formula: log ts (t) = 3.22665 -0.13876t + 0.00297t² where t is the temperature. For example, value ts is equal to 116 min at 10.8°C, so the duration of the total larval development at the given regime is 116 (min) x 140 (ts) = 16240 min or 11 days and 7 hours 11.7 °C * day Mel'nikova and Gorodilov, 2006
13 Full yolk-sac resorption The yolk sac is fully absorbed at a total length of 8 mm, 9 days after hatching at 17.7°C. Smelt larvae with functional mouth and remaining yolk sac are already capable of performing exogenous feeding. 8.0 °C * day Sepulveda, 1994
8 Initial larval size 3.8-6.0 4.9 mm Belyanina, 1969
8 Initial larval size 5-6 5.5 mm Buckley, 1989
8 Initial larval size The l ength of the body is 6.0-6.1 mm including the length from the rostrum the anus, at age 200-210 ts 6.05 mm Mel'nikova and Gorodilov, 2006
8 Initial larval size L= 5.0-5.3 mm at the beginning of hatching 5.15 mm Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
8 Initial larval size The fish hatch as larvae at approximatively 4.8 mm total length 4.8 mm Sepulveda, 1994
9 Larvae behaviour After hatching, the larvae drift dowstream, where they are concentrated near the surface Demersal Buckley, 1989
9 Larvae behaviour Pelagic Pelagic Urho, 2002
9 Larvae behaviour After hatching, the larvae passively drift downstream into the estuary, where they begin to feed on zooplankton Demersal Quigley, 2004

Female (58%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
18 Female sexual dimorphism Females grow faster than males Absent Buckley, 1989
24 Maximum GSI value About 18-22% 20.0 percent Belyanina, 1969
19 Relative fecundity Average: 500-700, range 350-1050 600.0 thousand eggs/kg Belyanina, 1969
19 Relative fecundity 50 50.0 thousand eggs/kg Kunz, 2004
27 Age at sexual maturity Mostly 2-3, rarely 1 and up to 7-8 [Both sex] 2.5 years Belyanina, 1969
27 Age at sexual maturity Mostly 2-3 [Both sex] 2.5 years Buckley, 1989
27 Age at sexual maturity 2 [Sometimes 1, sex not specified] 2.0 years Rochard, 2001
27 Age at sexual maturity 1+ or 2+ [Both sex] 1.0 years Quigley, 2004
20 Absolute fecundity Average 37.6-95.5 66.55 thousand eggs Belyanina, 1969
20 Absolute fecundity 40.131 [Age 1+], 66.512 [Age 2+] and 105.956 [Age 3+] 40.131 thousand eggs Hutchinson and Mills, 1987
20 Absolute fecundity 7-44, 8.5 for a fish of 12.7 cm TL and 65.9 for a fish of 20.9 cm TL 25.5 thousand eggs Buckley, 1989
20 Absolute fecundity 10-40 25.0 thousand eggs Rochard, 2001
20 Absolute fecundity Can carry as many as 106,000 eggs, although the average is about 50,000 106.0 thousand eggs Quigley, 2004
20 Absolute fecundity The usual prolificacity of the smelt of the Neva River is 20000-28000 eggs 24000.0 thousand eggs Gorodilov and Melnikova, 2006
17 Weight at sexual maturity Average: 5-8, range from 1.5-3.5 to 53.0-94.0 in g !!! [Both sex] 6.5 kg Belyanina, 1969
16 Length at sexual maturity Average: 9-18, from 4.7-8.2, to 19.6-23.4 in g [Both sex] 13.5 cm Belyanina, 1969
16 Length at sexual maturity 8.6-14.1 [Age 1], 13.9-19.2 [Age 2], 16.5-21.3 [Age 3], 18.7-24.5 [Age 4], 20.6-24.5 [Age 5], depending on authors for both sex 11.35 cm Buckley, 1989
16 Length at sexual maturity Average fork length of the spawing smelt was 15.7 cm and ranged from 13.5 to 20 cm [Both sex] 15.7 cm Quigley, 2004
15 Age at sexual maturity Mostly 2-3, rarely 1 and up to 7-8 [Both sex] 2.5 year Belyanina, 1969
15 Age at sexual maturity Mostly 1, 2, 3 depedning on the location [Female] 1.0 year Buckley, 1989
15 Age at sexual maturity 2 [Sometimes 1, sex not specified] 2.0 year Rochard, 2001
15 Age at sexual maturity 1+ or 2+ [Both sex] 1.0 year Quigley, 2004

Male (44%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
33 Maximum GSI value About 5 5.0 percent Belyanina, 1969
28 Length at sexual maturity Average: 9-18, from 4.7-8.2, to 19.6-23.4 in g [Both sex] 13.5 cm Belyanina, 1969
28 Length at sexual maturity 86-141 [Age 1], 139-192 [Age 2], 165-213 [Age 3], 187-245 [Age 4], 206-245 [Age 5], depending on authors for both sex 113.5 cm Buckley, 1989
28 Length at sexual maturity Average fork length of the spawing smelt was 15.7 cm and ranged from 13.5 to 20 cm [Both sex] 15.7 cm Quigley, 2004
29 Weight at sexual maturity Average: 5-8, range from 1.5-3.5 to 53.0-94.0 in g !!! [Both sex] 6.5 kg Belyanina, 1969

Spawning conditions (100%)


Trait id Trait Primary Data Secondary Data References
47 Mating system By pair: Each female usually spawns in the compagny of one male. The females extrudes her eggs, then leaves the spawning ground. Males continues spawning with other females. Monogamy Belyanina, 1969
47 Mating system Individual fish sometimes spawn in several streams in an estuary during the spawning period No category Buckley, 1989
47 Mating system The spawning is communal Promiscuity Maitland, 2003
47 Mating system Females drop out of the river after spawning, while the males continue to spawn with other females No category Quigley, 2004
46 Nycthemeral period of oviposition As a rule smelt spawn at night Night Belyanina, 1969
46 Nycthemeral period of oviposition Spawning activity had occurred overnight Night Hutchinson and Mills, 1987
46 Nycthemeral period of oviposition In coastal waters, smelt spawn at night and most return to the estuary during the day, although some males may remain in the spawning area Ambiguous Buckley, 1989
46 Nycthemeral period of oviposition Usually at night Night Maitland, 2003
50 Parental care Does not guard eggs and larvae No care Belyanina, 1969
50 Parental care Non guarders No care Fishbase, 2006
44 Spawning substrate Stones, pebbles, water plants, submerged parts of bushes, grass and other things. They do not occur on muddy bottom Ambiguous Belyanina, 1969
44 Spawning substrate In lake, the spawning substrate may be vegetation mainly water moss and the roots and stems of terrestrial plants or coarse sand and gravel. In river, mainly submerged vegetation Ambiguous Ivanova and Polovka, 1972
44 Spawning substrate Litho-pelagophil Pelagophils Balon, 1975
44 Spawning substrate Sand or gravel Ambiguous Billard, 1997
44 Spawning substrate Typically, the substrate in the spawning area of coastal streams in the spawning area is gravel Lithophils Buckley, 1989
44 Spawning substrate Normally clean gravel, stones or macrophytes of various kinds Lithophils Maitland, 2003
44 Spawning substrate Sand bottom Psammophils Fishbase, 2006
45 Spawning site preparation Does not make nests No category Belyanina, 1969
45 Spawning site preparation Open substratum spawner Open water/substratum scatter Balon, 1975
45 Spawning site preparation Eggs are deposited Susbtrate chooser Billard, 1997
45 Spawning site preparation Open water/substratum eggs scatterers Open water/substratum scatter Fishbase, 2006
41 Spawning temperature Begins about 4, peak occurs at 6-9 [Sometimes start at 1-2°C lower or higher than 4], avoid temperatures lower than 4°C and higher than 12°C 7.5 °C Belyanina, 1969
41 Spawning temperature Along the coast, smelt spawn at water temperatures of 4.0 to 9.0°C 4.0 °C Buckley, 1989
41 Spawning temperature Spawning only occured when temperatures measured in the River Cree were >6°C. However, in 1995 first spawing took place at a temperature below 6°C 6.0 °C Lyle and Maitland, 1997
41 Spawning temperature Water has reached at least 5°C [Timing of spawning seems to be dictated by temperatures and tides and may vary from estuary to estuary, especially from North to South] 5.0 °C Maitland, 2003
41 Spawning temperature Various researchers have found that the spawning initiating temperature ranges from 4-7, 8-9, 4.4-5.5, 4-6, and >4°C 5.5 °C Quigley, 2004
41 Spawning temperature It is known that smalt spawn at a temperature of 4-6°C 5.0 °C Ziliukine, 2002
40 Spawning period duration For about one month, but peak spawning usually last only 2-4 days [Males spawn for a longer time and stay at the spawning grounds longer than females] 3.0 weeks Belyanina, 1969
40 Spawning period duration Fish were present in the river for approximatively 1 week in both years although the spawning grounds were abandoned at times of high flow [Also described as 5-10 days, or 8-10 days, others authors foudn that while spawing could last up to 3-4 weeks, the peak seldom lasted for more than 1 week] 7.5 weeks Hutchinson and Mills, 1987
40 Spawning period duration Individual males may spawn on as many as 8 nights consecutively, whereas females may spawn only 3 to 4 nights 8.0 weeks Buckley, 1989
40 Spawning period duration Last about 1 week, 1.0 weeks Lyle and Maitland, 1997
40 Spawning period duration The annual spawning takes place over just a few days No data Maitland, 2003
40 Spawning period duration In Scotland, spawning can last anywhere from a few days up to two weeks, depending on prevailing environmental conditions No data Quigley, 2004
42 Spawning water type Enters rivers and spawns at high tide, some spawn near river mouths and do not ascend the rivers [Water velocity is about 0.3-2 m/s] Flowing or turbulent water Belyanina, 1969
42 Spawning water type In coastal streams, most smelt spawn above the tide. [Significant positive relationships between survival to the early-eyed stage and increasing water velocity (up to 60-80 cm/s)] Flowing or turbulent water Buckley, 1989
42 Spawning water type In freswater, near the tidal zone No category Billard, 1997
42 Spawning water type Spawning takes place in fresh water, usually, but not always, somewhere near the end of tide where there is a significant current Flowing or turbulent water Maitland, 2003
42 Spawning water type The fish usually congregate in the lower reaches of these rivers for a number of days prior to moving upstream to spawn [Spawning areas correspond to the maximum tidal influence on the river] No category Quigley, 2004
42 Spawning water type Lower reaches of streams, deeper parts of lakes Stagnant water Fishbase, 2006
43 Spawning depth Greatly varies, from several centimetres to several metres, up to 17 m in some lakes 17.0 m Belyanina, 1969
43 Spawning depth Depths of the spawning grounds range from 0.4 to 3.7 m in individual lakes. 1-2 m in rivers 1.5 m Ivanova and Polovka, 1972
43 Spawning depth Water depths at low tide of 0.1 to 1.3 m 0.1 m Buckley, 1989
43 Spawning depth Varies from shallow water to deep water No data Maitland, 2003
36 Spawning migration distance Greatly varies, from 2-3, up to 1000 km, average 50-200 2.5 km Belyanina, 1969
36 Spawning migration distance Smelt have never been reported more than 2 km from shore or in water depths greater than 6 m 2.0 km Buckley, 1989
36 Spawning migration distance Smelt are relatively weak swimmers compared with many other migratory fish, and whithin the full spawning area there are major riffles which can be effective barriers to smelt migration without the benefit of a tidal lift No data Lyle and Maitland, 1997
37 Spawning migration period From March to early July depending on areas [The spawning run begins within the first 10 days after the ice has broken] ['March', 'July'] Belyanina, 1969
37 Spawning migration period Spawning migration in the northwestern regions of the Soviet Union begins in the early spring: either when ice breaks up or immediatly after ['April', 'May', 'June'] Ivanova and Polovka, 1972
37 Spawning migration period Spawners usually begin to move into spawning areas before the ice breakup No data Buckley, 1989
37 Spawning migration period October-November, migrates into estuarines ['October', 'November'] Rochard, 2001
37 Spawning migration period Mature adults congregate in the upper estuary during the winter, preparatory to spawning in the spring ['April', 'March', 'January', 'May', 'June', 'February'] Maitland, 2003
37 Spawning migration period In Scotland, the adult smelt migrate upstream from the estuaries and into the lower reaches of large clean rivers between January and April ['April', 'January'] Quigley, 2004
39 Spawning season Spawning begins on April 30 in the upper reaches of the Il'd' river in 1970, on May around Shumorovskiy Island and on May 9-11 in the estuary ['April', 'May'] Ivanova and Polovka, 1972
39 Spawning season Smelt were first detected in the vicinity of the spawning grounds on 10 March, in both 1980 and 1981. ['March'] Hutchinson and Mills, 1987
39 Spawning season Depending on location, peak spawning occurs in late March through late May ['March', 'May'] Buckley, 1989
39 Spawning season The dates of first spawning ranged between 22 February and 15 March, a span of 22 days [Aslo described as commencing on 9-10 March] ['February', 'March'] Lyle and Maitland, 1997
39 Spawning season March-April ['April', 'March'] Billard, 1997
39 Spawning season February-May ['February', 'April', 'March', 'May'] Rochard, 2001
39 Spawning season Spawning in the river Shannon takes place between the end of February and early April ['February', 'April'] Quigley, 2004
39 Spawning season Considering these determinations, one can estimate that for 1993, smelt spawned between 22 March and 7 April with a peak spawning effort on 29 March. ['April', 'March'] Sepulveda, 1994
39 Spawning season March-April, but also in February and May ['February', 'April', 'March', 'May'] Fishbase, 2006
39 Spawning season Such temperature was regitered at the end of March or at the beginning of April in 1997-1998 [… According to some lliterature sources, the peak of abundance of spawning smelt occurred on April 17, I.e. much later ['April', 'March'] Ziliukine, 2002
39 Spawning season Spawn during early spring ['April', 'May', 'June'] Kowalski, 2006
38 Homing Homing to spawning rivers is rare when distances between rivers within a geographic area such as an estuary are small Present Buckley, 1989
48 Spawning release Individual males may spawn on as many as 8 nights consecutively, whereas females may spawn only 3 to 4 nights No category Buckley, 1989
49 Parity Spawns either once a year, or not every year [From one to two or three times during a lifetime] No category Belyanina, 1969
49 Parity River consits of large repeat spawners [The largest females and males arrive in spawning grounds and spawn first] No category Ivanova and Polovka, 1972
49 Parity Consists chiefly of only two age groups (1+ and 2+) with only a small proportion of 3+ year old individuals No category Hutchinson and Mills, 1987
49 Parity After spawning, adults return to saltwater to spend the summer in the estuary or in a narrow zone along the coast Iteroparous Buckley, 1989
49 Parity The maximum age recorded for smelt from the river Shannon is 3+ No category Quigley, 2004
49 Parity Many individuals die after the spawning Semelparous Fishbase, 2006