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Temporal range: Late Miocene - present[1]
Salvelinus alpinus alpinus.JPG
Arctic char, Salvelinus alpinus alpinus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Subclass: Neopterygii
Infraclass: Teleostei
Superorder: Protacanthopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Subfamily: Salmoninae
Genus: Salvelinus
J. Richardson, 1836
Type species
Salvelinus umbla
(Linnaeus, 1758)

See text

Salvelinus is a genus of salmonid fish often called char or charr; some species are called "trout". Salvelinus is a member of the Salmoninae subfamily of the Salmonidae family. Most char may be identified by light-cream, pink, or red spots over a darker body. Scales tend to be small, with 115-200 along the lateral line. The pectoral, pelvic, anal, and the lower aspect of caudal fins are trimmed in snow white or cream leading edges.

Many members of this genus are popular sport fish, and a few, such as the lake trout (S. namaycush), are the object of commercial fisheries and aquaculture. Occasionally, such fish escape and become invasive species.

Deepwater char are small species of char living below 80 m in the deep areas of certain lakes. They are highly sensitive to changes in the quality of the water and some species, such as Salvelinus neocomensis and Salvelinus profundus, were driven recently to extinction.[2]


As with other salmonid genera, the delimitation of species in Salvelinus is controversial. FishBase (in 2012) indicates 51 recognized species in this genus:[3]

brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis
Dolly Varden trout, Salvelinus malma
Lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush



  1. ^ Sepkoski (2002)
  2. ^ Red List - Volume 1: Vertebrates (2009) - General assessment for the vertebrate groups
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Salvelinus in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  • Sepkoski, Jack (2002): Osteichthyes. In: A compendium of fossil marine animal genera. Bulletin of American Paleontology 364: 560. HTML fulltext

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