Spawning behaviour of Danube huchen from three Austrian rivers          [RESEARCH ARTICLE]

  • Manu Esteve
  • Günther Unfer
  • Kurt Pinter
  • Ignacio Doadrio
Keywords: phylogeny of behaviour, underwater video, postspawning behaviour, male digging


A camera inside an underwater housing was used to record a pair of Danube huchen, Hucho hucho (L.) spawning at the Ybbs River, Austria. A description of spawning behaviour is made including observations of two other Danube huchen pairs recorded at the Rivers Mur and Pielach. Results were compared with the spawning behaviour of Siberian taimen, Hucho taimen (Pall.), Manchurian trout, Brachymystax lenok (Pall.) and Sakhalin taimen, Parahucho perryi (Brevoort). Danube huchen females, likewise the Siberian taimen and Manchurian trout females, rest for a variable number of minutes after the spawning act, before covering the eggs with gentle tail beating. This behaviour joins Danube huchen with Siberian taimen intragenerically and Hucho with Brachymystax intergenerically, distinguishing it from Parahucho and strengthening our current conception of the Salmoninae subfamily.


M. Esteve [+], I. Doadrio
Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC)
Jose Gutierrez Abascal 2, Madrid, Spain
G. Unfer, K. Pinter
Department for Water, Atmosphere and Environment
Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria