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Yellowspotted grayling (Thymallus flavomaculatus)

This grayling species was described recently, in 2006. Its range is divided into several parts. The species is widespread in the Lower Amur River abd Ussuri River basins, inhabiting the upper reaches of large tributaries (Bikin, Khor, Kur, Urmi, Anyui, Gur, Amgun). This species lives in the rivers Uda and Tugur, as well as in some streams of Northern Primorye (Tumnin, Koppi and Samarga).

The yellow-spotted grayling is larger than the Lower-Amur grayling, and often reaches the weight of over half a kilogram, and in the Tumnin River basin it is up to 1 kilogram.

The scale cover is silver or blue-silver. Near the head there are a few black spots. The gill covers are gray with a turquoise hue. Between the rows of scales there are twisting thin orange stripes. From the pectoral to the ventral fins, there are two parallel yellow-brown stripes. Above the ventral fins there are large raspberry-red spots. The pectoral, anal and caudal fins are gray-yellow, and the ventral fins have 5-6 longitudinal oblique cherry-red stripes. The spots on the dorsal fin are small, rounded, with a wide matte border in the shape of 4-5 slightly ascending rows; they do not merge with a narrow edge line of the same color. On the last dorsal fin membranes there is a large yellow-orange spot.

Yellow-spotted grayling lives near the headwaters of mountainous rivers and in the chutes with a large gradient; it is well adapted to the swift current.

Ilya Sherbovich