Misgurnus fossilis is a species of loach in the genus Misgurnus. It is commonly known as European weatherfish or European weather loach, due to its activity patterns changing when air pressure rises or falls. If there is a sudden change in barometric pressure, the weatherfish comes to the surface and swims about excitedly. In water with a low oxygen content it gulps air; it extracts oxygen through its intestinal mucous membrane, which has a complex system of blood vessels. It feeds on thawed frozen blood worms, small fish, brine shrimp, earthworms and some vegetables. It is quite an active loach and can grow to a length of 30 cm.
The distribution of the weatherfish stretches from the Seine to the Neva, and from the Danube to the Volga. It lives in still waters of muddy river meanders along the shore, and will survive in conditions which not even the most resistant of carp or tench will put up with. Because of their toleration and quick adaptation to low-oxygen and low visibility environments, they are able to become invasive species when introduced to non-native environments through the aquarium trade.
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- [IUCN Red List of Threatened Species http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/40698/0]
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