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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Lampetra fluviatilis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: in addition to the characteristics given in the key, the average diameter of the sucking-disc (sexes combined) is equal to 56.6% of the branchial region and 5.6% of the total length. The number of trunk myomeres ranges from 58 to 66. Size: the maximum length obtained is 450 mm, while the average length is between 310 and 340 mm. For anatomical details consult Marinelli (1954).

Habitat: found in fresh- and saltwater areas. There are two forms, one migratory which is large and another small sedentary form.
Food: parasitic on many different types of fish.
Reproduction: the number of eggs varies with the size of the female from 4,000 to 40,000. The egg diameter is approximately 1 mm.

Distribution: in the area, coastal waters and rivers of north-western Mediterranean Sea, along European Atlantic coast, North Sea and the whole of Baltic Sea; absent from Black, Caspian and Polar Seas. In the Baltic Sea area it is an important economic species, with yearly catches between 1 and 2 million individuals. In the freshwater areas of western Europe are found 2 additional non-parasitic or satellite species of Lampetra. For further details on lamprey satellite species see Vladykov & Kott (1979a).

Spawning. Damas, 1950, 81: 151-162, fig. 1-3 | Hagelin & Steffner, 1958, 9 (2): 221238, fig. 1-9 | Hagelin, 1959,10(1): 50-64, phot. 1-9.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Ivanova-Berg, 1933, 25: 22-37; 1949: 21-23 | Vladykov, 1959: 207-208 | MacDonald, l959a, 28: 293-298; l959b, 18: 91-95.

River lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis)