THE COMMON MITHRALFISH

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING

The Common Mithralfish is a small, silvery fish common to the mithanjor. It’s typically mithral-coloured on the sides with small olive-blotches on its sides. It has large eyes and a rounded snout. Mithralfish feast upon insects, spiders, worms, and seaweed in rivers, lakes, and marches in mid Santharia to southern North Sarvonia.

The Mithralfish
View picture in full size Image description. The Mithralfish, found in lakes and rivers all over southern Sarvonia and parts of Northern Sarvonia. It makes an excellent dish.  Picture drawn by Quellion.

Appearance. The body of the Common Mithralfish is about 6.5 to 10 nailsbreadths long and can be 1.5 to 3 nailsbreadths wide at the broadest part of their body, giving them a deep, compressed figure. Their eyes are fairly big in comparison to their body, and vary from a gray-gold to a yellowish mithral. They also have a rounded snout. The Mithralfish, as its name implies, has mithral-coloured side and belly, though breeding males will have rose-coloured bellies. The top of their bodies are olive-coloured, perhaps to help them camouflage themselves to the birds overhead who will sometimes feed upon them. The sides of their bodies are also sometimes decorated in olive in the form of crescents and blots, usually fairly spread out and located in random design. Some researchers believe that each Mithralfish has a distinct pattern of olive-coloured blots on their sides and that no two Mithralfish have the same pattern.

The Mithralfish have a total of 6 fins. Each fin is transparent with a rose-coloured tint, yet have a pale outer margin. The rakfin, or back fin, usually makes up about 20% of the fish’s total length, and tend to have very curved tips. The dorsal fin sticks out from the body no more then a nailsbreadths, and appears as a partially open fan. Sometimes small veins can be seen in them. The pelvic fin is located on the other side of the fish’s body, across from the dorsal fin. The pelvic fin is about ½ to ¾ nailsbreadths from the body to the end of the fin, with is carefully curved. The anal fin is close to the pelvic fin and sticks out about one nailsbreadth from the body. The back of this fin appears dented in the back. The rib fins are usually between ½ to 1 nailsbreadth long.
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Territory. Because they enjoy cold to mild climates, the Common Mithralfish is found primarily in mid and north Santharia as well as southern river and lakes in
North Sarvonia, including the Readmeade River, the Quest River, the Luquador River, the Rayne and Taiphra Rivers as well as the Vandrina River. Mithralfish are also found in lakes including the Crystal Lake, the Ishmarin Lake, Ephirn’s Lake, and finally the Aerelian Lakes. They have also been found in the Silvermarshes. However, they are not able to survive in salt water and thus cannot be found in oceans. Return to the top

Habitat/Behaviour. The Common Mithral travel in schoal. These schoals tend to be comparatively smaller in rivers than in lakes. In rivers, these little fish may travel in schoal between 20 and 60, but in lakes, they can travel in schoals as large as 200. They are not territorial and have no real hierarchy in their little communities, though they may often fight for foods when food grows scarce, such as in the winter.

In lakes and pools in the north where winters may freeze the top layer of water, these fish have the ability to slow down their systems and reside under the ice until the spring comes and thaws their homes. Because of this, these fish have a tendency to be more active in the summer and spring than in the autumn and winter.
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Diet. These small, mithral-coloured fish can eat a lot for their size. Many are surprised by how much they eat, as many don’t realize that each schoal has many mouths to feed. They will eat insects, and worms that live within the water, such as the lín’már’jóh, but can only eat insects and spiders living outside the water if they happen to fall into the water. They will attack smaller creatures by suddenly darting forward and catching it. They have also been known to eat various plants and seaweeds, such as the lémertía, that grow in and around their habitat.
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Mating. Spawning of the Common Mithralfish occurs in early alé'veván to early dál'injerá when the water becomes warm. Typically a schoal will stop at a place with lots of food to mate and lay their small gray eggs. During this time, the male’s stomach will turn from a mithral to a rose. These fish are rather impersonal about mating. A male sill wanders up to a female and rubs his rose-coloured belly on her sides and back and they proceed to mate with her. If she dislikes his touch, she will dart away. However, when he gets it right, he will briefly mate with her, staying just long enough to insert his sperm into her.

Within an hour, the female will produce eggs which she will shake free from her body to settle on the ground, usually among sands where they are disguised. It is estimated that each female produces at least 1,500 eggs! Within a few weeks, the eggs will have hatched and small Mithralfish will wriggle out. Each of these babies are hardly two nailsbreadths long. After about two years, they will reach adulthood and mate. These fish typically live between 5 and 7 years, though.
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Information provided by Rayne Avalotus View Profile