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Essey char (Salvelinus tolmachoffi)

This is an endemic of the Taimyr Peninsula. The species is described from the Lake Essei belonging to the Khatanga River basin; it is also known from the Lakes Sigtak and Bezymyannoe of the same basin, and from the Lake Khantayskoe (Yenisei River basin). Perhaps it is also living in the lakes of the Gydanski Bay. This is a lake-resident char; it is eating scuds, copepods, chironomid larvae, and fish.

This is an extremely poorly studied species. From other chars of the Arctic coast of Eurasia it is distinguished by large number of gill rakers and high body. This is a medium-size char with relatively blunt snout, small mouth and short head; the jaws are of equal length. The upper jaw is short; by the adults it does not go beyond the vertical of the posterior edge of the eye. The caudal fin is medium-notched. The top of the head and the back are blue-black, the sides of the body are dark gray with golden tint, the belly is pale yellow; the fish has numerous red spots on its sides. The sexual dimorphism in color is absent even during the spawning period.

The species reaches the length of 53,5 cm, the weight of 2.1 kg and the maximum age of 11 years. The spawning is observed in the fall, from the second half of October to December in the coastal areas with the depths of 2,5-4 meters.

Ilya Sherbovich