Toscana stream chub (Squalius lucumonis)

Toscana stream chub
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Toscana stream chub fact file

Toscana stream chub description

GenusSqualius (1)

The Toscana stream chub (Squalius lucumonis) is a moderately sized fish that is endemic to Italy. The scales are yellowish, with a row of black pigment along one margin, and there is a golden, iridescent stripe running along the length of the body (2) (3). The grey fins of the Toscana stream chub become slightly orange in colour during the spawning season. The iris is light, with a brownish crescent-shaped area in the upper half (3).

Also known as
brook chub.
Leuciscus lucumontis .
Length: 16 cm (2)

Toscana stream chub biology

The Toscana stream chub’s spawning season runs from April to June (3), when eggs are laid in shallow, fast-flowing, warm water bodies (2)

This species’ diet consists mainly of invertebrates, including molluscs, insects and crustaceans as well as detritus. The Toscana stream chub lacks teeth, and instead has two enlarged bones in the throat which grind together to break down food (2) (5)

The Toscana stream chub can live for up to five years in optimal conditions (1) (3).


Toscana stream chub range

The Toscana stream chub is endemic to the Tibern, Arno, Ombrone and Serchio river drainage basins of central Italy (1) (4).


Toscana stream chub habitat

The typical habitat of the Toscana stream chub is small to medium-sized warm freshwater streams and brooks, although it is occasionally found in main river courses (2) (3). During summer, this species may be confined to small pools within its range (1).


Toscana stream chub status

The Toscana stream chub is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered


Toscana stream chub threats

Occurring in just 10 to 12 isolated populations, the Toscana stream chub has an extremely fragmented distribution within its restricted range (1) (3). Each of these populations is under threat from habitat change due to water extraction and pollution, to which this species is extremely sensitive. Throughout its range, the Toscana stream chub is forced to compete with introduced species such as the south European nase (Protochondrostoma genei) for resources such as food and spawning areas (1) (2) (3).


Toscana stream chub conservation

The Toscana stream chub is listed on Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive (6) and Appendix III of the Bern Convention (7), both of which provide guidelines for the conservation of European flora and fauna (1).

Limiting the introduction of non-native species, and restoration and protection of its habitat may help to conserve this endangered fish (3).


Find out more

 Find out more about the Toscana stream chub and its conservation:



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Diverse group of animals with jointed limbs and a hard external skeleton, 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.
Litter formed from fragments of dead material.
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones) and echinoderms.
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 eggs in water.


  1. IUCN Red List (October, 2011)
  2. FishBase - Squalius lucumonis (October, 2011)
  3. Bianco, P.G. and Katmaier, V. (2003) Threatened fishes of the world: Leuciscus lucumonis. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 68: 370.
  4. Manaresi, S., Mantovani, B. and Zaccanti, F. (1997) Comparison of isozymic and muscle protein in three taxa of Leuciscus from northern Italy. Italian Journal of Zoology, 64(3): 215-220.
  5. Campbell, A. and Dawes, J. (2004) Encyclopedia of Underwater Life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  6. EU Habitats Directive (January, 2012)
  7. Council of Europe: Bern Convention (January, 2012)

Image credit

Toscana stream chub  
Toscana stream chub

© Dr. Massimo Lorenzoni

Dr. Massimo Lorenzoni
Dipartimento di Biologia Cellulare ed Ambientale - Università di Perugia
Via Elce di Sotto
06100 Perugia
Tel: +39 (075) 585716
Fax: +39 (075) 5855615


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