Thessaly gudgeon (Gobio feraeensis)

Thessaly gudgeon
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Thessaly gudgeon fact file

Thessaly gudgeon description

GenusGobio (1)

A poorly known freshwater fish from a small area of Greece (1) (2), the Thessaly gudgeon (Gobio feraeensis) is a member of the Cyprinidae family, a diverse group of fish that comprises over 2,000 species (3). Very little information is available on the Thessaly gudgeon, but like other Cyprinidae species it is a relatively small fish, and the male and female are likely to be similar in appearance (3).

The Thessaly gudgeon may resemble the related gudgeon (Gobio gobio), which is a rounded, bottom-dwelling fish with a large, triangular dorsal fin on its back and two well-developed barbels near its mouth (4). Most Cyprinidae species lack scales on the head (3).

Gobio gobio feraeensis.
Length: up to 10 cm (2)

Thessaly gudgeon biology

Little is currently known about the biology of this small fish (1). However, the Thessaly gudgeon may have a life history similar to G. gobio, which matures at two to three years old and spawns between May and June. The eggs of G. gobio hatch after about 15 days (4).

Cyprinidae species usually have quite a diverse diet (3). Like G. gobio, the Thessaly gudgeon is likely to feed on a variety of insects, crustaceans, molluscs and some plant material (4). Members of the Cyprinidae family lack teeth in the jaws, but most have a pair of enlarged bones in the throat which possess structures known as ‘pharyngeal teeth’, which are used to process food (3).

The Thessaly gudgeon is probably largely solitary, but may sometimes gather in small shoals (4).


Thessaly gudgeon range

The Thessaly gudgeon is known only from the Pinios drainage system in Greece (1) (2). It also formerly occurred in the Karla Lake drainage (2), but has now disappeared from this location (1).


Thessaly gudgeon habitat

Found in freshwater streams and rivers with moderate currents, the Thessaly gudgeon is a bottom-dwelling species which usually occurs over sandy bottoms (1) (2).


Thessaly gudgeon status

The Thessaly gudgeon is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Thessaly gudgeon threats

The loss of the Thessaly gudgeon from the Karla Lake drainage was due to drainage for agriculture. Within its remaining range, the Thessaly gudgeon is under threat from water abstraction, which is worsened by drought. This in turn could potentially be exacerbated by climate change. Water pollution also presents a further threat to this species (1).


Thessaly gudgeon conservation

There are not known to be any specific conservation measures in place for the Thessaly gudgeon (1). As it is such a poorly known species, this fish may benefit from further research into its biology and conservation status.


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Find out more about the Thessaly gudgeon:

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Fleshy projections near the mouth of some aquatic vertebrates.
Diverse group of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton, characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, woodlice and barnacles.
Dorsal fin
The unpaired fin found on the back of the body of fish, or the raised structure on the back of most cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises).
A diverse group of invertebrates, mainly marine, that have one or all of the following; a horny, toothed ribbon in the mouth (the radula), a shell covering the upper surface of the body, and a mantle or mantle cavity with a type of gill. Includes snails, slugs, shellfish, octopuses and squid.
The production or depositing of large quantities of eggs in water.


  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2011)
  2. FishBase - Thessaly gudgeon (May, 2011)
  3. Campbell, A. and Dawes, J. (2004) Encyclopedia of Underwater Life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  4. Girdler, A., Wellby, I. and Welcomme, R. (2010) Fisheries Management: A Manual for Still-Water Coarse Fisheries. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Chichester, UK.

Image credit

Thessaly gudgeon  
Thessaly gudgeon

© Jörg Freyhof

Jörg Freyhof


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