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Scientific name

Higher classification


Conservation status

Salvelinus wwwfishbaseorgimagesspeciesSaleuu0jpg

Lower classifications
Japanese salmon, Rainbow trout, Trout, Oncorhynchus masou, Ayu

Arctic char fish salvelinus alpinus seesaibling r ding r ye nieri fjeld rred

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. The genus has a northern circumpolar distribution, and most of its members are typically cold-water fish that primarily inhabit fresh waters. Many species also migrate to the sea, however.


Salvelinus Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis NYS Dept of Environmental

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.

Salvelinus Fish Identification

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.

Salvelinus Salvelinus leucomaenis Wikipedia

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.

Salvelinus FileSalvelinus fontinalis Prague Vltava 1jpg Wikimedia Commons

Brook trout salvelinus fontinalis

Species diversity

Salvelinus Salvelinus Wikipedia

As with other salmonid genera, the delimitation of species in Salvelinus is controversial. FishBase in 2015 listed 54 species or subspecies in this genus, many of which have very narrow local distributions. Fourteen localised species are listed from the British Isles alone, although these traditionally, and still by the national conservation and fisheries authorities, are all considered to represent the widespread Arctic charr (S. alpinus). Twenty species are listed from the Asian part of Russia, including several localised taxa from in each of the Kamchatka, Chukotka and Taimyr peninsulas. One of these is the long-finned char, which phylogenetically is part of the Salvelinus group although it has been so far classified into another genus Salvethymus.

The Arctic char (S. alpinus) is the most broadly distributed Salvelinus species. It has a circumpolar distribution, and it is considered the most northern of all freshwater fishes. In North America, five relatively well defined species are present, which, apart from the Arctic char, comprise the brook trout (S. fontinalis), bull trout (S. confluentus), Dolly Varden trout (S. malma) and lake trout (S. namaycush).

This listing presents the taxa recognised in FishBase grouped by geography:


  • Salvelinus alpinus (Linnaeus, 1758) – Arctic char
  • Europe

    Central Europe
  • Salvelinus evasus Freyhof & Kottelat, 2005
  • Salvelinus umbla (Linnaeus, 1758) – lake char
  • Salvelinus neocomensis Freyhof & Kottelat, 2005
  • Salvelinus profundus (Schillinger, 1901)
  • British Isles

    Scotland and adjacent islands:

  • Salvelinus gracillimus Regan, 1909
  • Salvelinus inframundus Regan, 1909
  • Salvelinus killinensis (Günther, 1866)
  • Salvelinus mallochi Regan, 1909
  • Salvelinus maxillaris Regan, 1909
  • Salvelinus struanensis (Maitland, 1881)
  • Salvelinus youngeri (Friend, 1965) – golden char
  • England and Wales:

  • Salvelinus lonsdalii Regan, 1909
  • Salvelinus perisii (Günther, 1865)
  • Salvelinus willoughbii (Günther, 1862)
  • Ireland:

  • Salvelinus colii (Günther, 1863)
  • Salvelinus fimbriatus Regan, 1908
  • Salvelinus grayi (Günther, 1862)
  • Salvelinus obtusus Regan, 1908
  • Northern Europe

    Iceland and Atlantic islands:

  • Salvelinus faroensis Joensen & Tåning, 1970
  • Salvelinus murta (Sæmundsson, 1909)
  • Salvelinus thingvallensis (Sæmundsson, 1909)
  • Salvelinus salvelinoinsularis (Lönnberg, 1900)Bear Island char
  • Fennoscandia and Northwest Russia:

  • Salvelinus lepechini (J. F. Gmelin, 1789)
  • Asia

    Arctic drainages
  • Salvelinus andriashevi L. S. Berg, 1948 – Chukot char
  • Salvelinus boganidae L. S. Berg, 1926 – Boganida char
  • Salvelinus czerskii Dryagin, 1932 – Cherskii's char
  • Salvelinus drjagini Logashev, 1940 – Dryagin's char
  • Salvelinus elgyticus Viktorovsky & Glubokovsky, 1981 – small-mouth char
  • Salvelinus alpinus erythrinus (Georgi, 1775) – davatchan
  • Salvelinus jacuticus Borisov, 1935 – Yakutian char
  • Salvelinus taimyricus Mikhin, 1949
  • Salvelinus taranetzi Kaganowsky, 1955 – Taranets char
  • Salvelinus tolmachoffi L. S. Berg, 1926Lake Yessey char
  • [Salvethymus svetovidovi Chereshnev & Skopets, 1990 – long-finned char: phylgenetically part of the Salvelinus clade]
  • Pacific drainages
  • Salvelinus albus Glubokovksy, 1977 – white char
  • Salvelinus curilus (Pallas, 1814) (= S. malma krascheninnikova Taranetz, 1933 – southern Dolly Varden
  • Salvelinus gritzenkoi Vasil'eva & Stygar, 2000
  • Salvelinus krogiusae Glubokovksy, Frolov, Efremov, Ribnikova & Katugin, 1993
  • Salvelinus kronocius Viktorovsky, 1978
  • Salvelinus kuznetzovi Taranetz, 1933
  • Salvelinus leucomaenis (Pallas, 1814) – whitespotted char
  • S. l. leucomaenis (Pallas, 1814)
  • S. l. imbrius D. S. Jordan & E. A. McGregor, 1925
  • S. l. pluvius (Hilgendorf, 1876)
  • S. l. japonicus (=S. japonicus) Ōshima, 1961kirikuchi char
  • Salvelinus neiva Taranetz, 1933 – Neiva
  • Salvelinus schmidti Viktorovsky, 1978
  • Salvelinus vasiljevae Safronov & Zvezdov, 2005 – Sakhalinian char
  • North America

  • Salvelinus agassizii (Garman, 1885) – silver trout
  • Salvelinus confluentus (Suckley, 1859) – bull trout
  • Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill, 1814)Brook trout
  • Salvelinus malma (Walbaum, 1792) – Dolly Varden trout
  • "Salvelinus anaktuvukensis" Morrow, 1973 – angayukaksurak char (= S. malma)
  • Salvelinus namaycush (Walbaum, 1792) – lake trout
  • Hybrids

  • S. alpinus × S. fontinalis – Alsatian char
  • S. namaycush × S. fontinalissplake, brookinaw
  • S. fontinalis × Salmo truttatiger trout
  • S. leucomaensis x O. masou – river mackerel, Kawasaba
  • References

    Salvelinus Wikipedia