Scientific name: Phoxinus phoxinus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Cyprinidae
Order: Cypriniformes
Class: Actinopterygii
Irish name: Libín
Irish angling record: Not recorded
Native species: No; introduced sometime after the 12th Century; no historical documentary data5;
Hybrids: No

Identifying features

Dorsal fin base overlaps origin of anal fin; mottled brownish, with a dark band along the side, ending in a black spot at base of tail; at spawning time, the dark bar becomes greenish rather than black and black and red pigment develops on the throat and belly; grows to 10cm, rarely longer4;

Environment and Habitat

Inhabit lake bottom; migrate within freshwater only1; found in most upland rivers and lakes and some lowland rivers;  spawns on gravel in summer; can be found in schools close to the surface in summer and in deeper water in winter2;

European distribution

Widespread across Europe.  73°N - 37°N, 10°W - 179°E; found throughout Irish freshwaters;

Economic value in Ireland

Minor commercial value as bait; 

Red list status

Least concern

Irish legislation status


EU legislation status


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