Alosa braschnikowi

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Caspian marine shad
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Clupeidae
Genus: Alosa
Species: A. braschnikowi
Binomial name
Alosa braschnikowi
(Borodin, 1904)

Alosa braschnikowi, the Caspian marine shad or Brazhnikov's shad, is one of the clupeid fish species endemic to the Caspian Sea.[1]

This is a relatively large shad, typically 30 cm and up to 50 cm length. It also has a more "herring-like" body shape than other Caspian shad species, being a slender and elongate fish. It has well developed teeth in both jaws.[1][2]

Alosa braschnikowi feeds on small fishes but also on crustaceans and occasionally other invertebrates. It performs migrations within the Caspian Sea, but does not enter rivers. Several subspecies have been described, with different breeding habits and with varying gill raker numbers.[1][2] The suggested subspecies include:[2]

  • A. b. agrachanica (Mikhailovskaya,1941), western Caspian, or southeast in winter
  • A. b. autumnalis (Berg, 1915), southern Caspian
  • A. b. brashnikovi (Borodin, 1904), all Caspian, spawning in north
  • A. b. grimmi (Borodin, 1904), eastern coasts of southern Caspian
  • A. b. kisselevitshi (Bulgakov, 1926)
  • A. b. nirchi (Morosov, 1928), the Krasnovodsk herring, present in the Krasnovodsk Gulf and the Kenderli Bay.[3]
  • A. b. orientalis (Mikhailovskaya,1941), eastern part of southern Caspian
  • A. b. sarensis (Mikhailovskaya,1941), western part of southern Caspian.

Even Alosa curensis and Alosa maeotica have sometimes been listed as subspecies of A. brashnikovi; the latter is from the Pontic basin and now considered distinct (non-Caspian) species.[2] Several further synonyms exist.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2015). "Alosa braschnikowi" in FishBase. April 2015 version.
  2. ^ a b c d e Peter J.P. Whitehead (1985) Subfamily Alosinae In: Clupeoid Fishes of the World - an annotated and illustrated catalog of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Volume 7, Part 1. Rome: UNDP FAO.
  3. ^ Igor S. Zonn, Aleksey N Kosarev, Michael H. Glantz & Andrey G. Kostianoy, The Caspian Sea Encyclopedia, p. K 256