Freshwater Fish: The Rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus
In this regular blog feature, we explore the common freshwater fish that inhabit Britain's waterway, lakes and rivers. Todays blog looks at the Rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus.
The Rudd is covered in scales, with a sharp keel on its belly behind the pelvic fins. Very similar to the Roach fish, although the Rudd has its dorsal fin positioned behind the pelvic fin base.
The body of the Rudd is quite flat along the sides, displaying blue-green colours along its back and silver on its belly. It's striking reddish-grey fins stand out, with species variants displaying fin colours of deep reds to yellow-orange. The Rudd has large eyes and and a small oblique mouth.
The Rudd lives in backwaters in the lower river reaches, and pools and lakes overgrown with vegetation, where it swims in small shoals. It spawns between May and June in planted areas and feeds on plankton, vegetation, pond insects and aquatic vertebrates.
The Rudd can be found all over Europe, and is very popular with anglers. It has little or no value as a foodstuff, but is a delightful fish to view and enjoy in its own habitat. It is not normally kept in garden ponds as its not commonly sold in stores, but there is no reason why small Rudd could not be safely introduced to a medium/large garden pond habitat.
Known sub-species: S. erythropthalmus scardafa
Habitat: Europe (Central and Southern mainly)
Maximum size (approx): 30cm
Maximum weight (approx): 1kg
Photo credit(s): Canva Pro Licence