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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Salvelinus alpinus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: fairly elongate, snout short, upper jaw reaching to or slightly beyond hind margin of eye. Teeth well developed, but absent on shaft of vomer, so that centre of palate toothless. Gillrakers 18-30. Pyloric caeca 30-44. Dorsal finrays iii-iv 8-11, with a small adipose fin behind; pelvic finrays i 7-9, base below posterior part of dorsal fin; anal finrays iii-iv 7-9; caudal fin slightly forked. Scales minute, 190-240 in lateral line. Vertebrae 60-71. Colour: back dark bluish, flanks bluish-grey or green with small red or orange spots, belly often silvery, becoming red in spawning males (but yellowish in females and immature fishes). Size: to 88 cm and 15 kg, usually 30-50 cm.

Habitat: anadromous forms spend a considerable proportion of their span at sea; non-migratory populations remain in freshwater (lakes and rivers). Food: fishes (small gadids and cottids, capelin, sand-eels, smelt) and crustaceans (34 amphipod and mysid species recorded); freshwater populations on planktonic crustaceans, amphipods, molluscs, insects, also fishes. Reproduction: ascending rivers between July and September according to locality, spawning in September to November, usually in rivers at 4-11 years old; adults remain in rivers until winter ice breaks, returning to sea with the first floods; juveniles migrate to sea at 2-3 years, rarely at 4-5 years.

Distribution: North Atlantic southward to southern Norway, also Icelanc and southern Greenland, not far from river mouths; non-migratory and land-locked relict populations well to south of this (British Isles, central France). Elsewhere, circumpolar.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). Chaine, 1956: 163, pl. 1.

Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus)