Grayling (Thymallus thymallus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Grayling (Thymallus thymallus) in the river Seine. Photo by fr:Utilisateur:Liondelyon http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Liondelyon, May 2004.
The grayling (Thymallus thymallus) is a species of freshwater fish in the salmon family (family Salmonidae) of order Salmoniformes. It is the type species of its genus. Native to the Palearctic ecozone, the grayling is widespread throughout northern Europe, from the United Kingdom and France to the Ural Mountains in Russia. While it was introduced to Morocco in 1948, it does not appear to have become established there.
The grayling grows to a maximum recorded length of 60 cm (24 in) and a maximum recorded weight of 6.7 kg (15 lb). Of typical Thymallus appearance, the grayling proper is distinguished from the similar Arctic grayling (T. arcticus arcticus) by the presence of 5???8 dorsal and 3???4 anal spines, which are absent in the other species; T. thymallus also has a smaller number of soft rays in these fins. Individuals of the species have been recorded as reaching an age of 14 years.
The grayling prefers cold, running riverine waters, but also occurs in lakes and, exceptionally, in brackish waters around the Baltic Sea. Omnivorous, the fish feeds on vegetable matter as well as crustaceans, insects and spiders, molluscs, zooplankton, and smaller fishes, including Eurasian minnows and yellow perch. Graylings are also prey for larger fish, including the huchen (Hucho hucho).
With the Arctic grayling, T. thymallus is one of the economically important Thymallus species, being raised commercially and fished for sport.
The grayling is a protected species listed in appendix III of the Bern Convention.
The term "grayling" is often used to refer generically to the Thymallus species, and T. thymallus is sometimes called the European grayling for clarity. There are many obsolete synonyms for the species.
The several United States Navy submarines and patrol boats named USS Grayling have presumably been named for the Arctic grayling native to North America rather than this European fish.
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