Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Percidae
(Perches) > Percinae
Etymology: Perca: Greek, perke = perch, a fish without identificaction (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: 8 - 12; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 30 m (Ref. 9988), usually 3 - 4 m (Ref. 55947). Temperate; 10°C - 22°C (Ref. 1672), preferred ?; 74°N - 38°N, 91°W - 168°E
Eurasia: throughout Europe to northernmost extremity of Scandinavia, except Iberian Peninsula, central Italy, and Adriatic basin; Aegean Sea basin in Matriza and from Struma to Aliakmon drainages; Aral Sea basin; Siberia in rivers draining the Arctic Ocean eastward to Kolyma. Widely introduced. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 16.8, range 11 - 23.4 cm
Max length : 60.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 59043); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); max. published weight: 4.8 kg (Ref. 2058); max. reported age: 22 years (Ref. 796)
(total): 14 - 20;
soft rays: 7 - 10;
Vertebrae: 39 - 42. Diagnosed from other species of Percidae in Europe by having the following unique characters: pelvic and anal fins yellow to red; posterior part of first dorsal fin with dark blotch; and flank with 5-8 bold dark bars, usually Y-shaped. Differs further by the combination of the following features: two dorsal fins, clearly separated from each other; and 56-77 scales along lateral line (Ref. 59043). Body greenish-yellow; 5-9 transverse black bands on the sides; first dorsal fin gray, black spot at the tip; second dorsal greenish-yellow; pectorals yellow; other fins red. First dorsal fin markedly higher than the second. Caudal fin emarginate (Ref. 2058).
Inhabits a very wide range of habitats from estuarine lagoons, lakes of all types to medium-sized streams. Feeding larvae occur in open water. This is an opportunistic diurnal feeder which preys mainly during sunrise and sunset, using all available prey. Larvae and small juveniles usually feed on planktonic invertebrates. During first summer, many juveniles move near shores to feed on benthic prey. Often feeds on fishes at about 12 cm SL. May undertake short spawning migrations. Males attain first sexual maturity at 1-2 years and females at 2-4 years of age. Spawns in February-July (Ref. 59043). Eggs grouped in long white ribbons (up to 1 m) are found over submerged objects (Ref. 41678). Its flesh is excellent and not so bony. Utilized fresh and frozen; eaten pan-fried and baked (Ref. 9988). May be captured with natural or artificial bait (Ref. 30578).
During breeding, males arrive at the spawning area ahead of the females. One or two of these males chases a ripe female as soon as it arrives in the area (polyandry) (Ref. 6258). The queue of males maybe longer composed of about 15 to 25 individuals, but only two prod their snouts against the female's belly (Ref. 205). After rounds of curved course through the interlacing branches near the surface (Ref. 205), males fertilize the egg ribbon as the female lays them over weeds or other submerged objects (Ref. 6258). Eggs grouped in long white ribbons (up to 1 m) are found over submerged objects (Ref. 41678). Eggs hatch in about 8 to 16 days at normal temperatures (Ref. 6258).
Males mature at 2-3 years and females at 4 years. Spawning, in the Northern hemisphere, happens in spring in waters with temperatures between 7-8°C. Eggs are laid in sticky strings becoming fixed to
aquatic plants and rocks. Incubation lasts about 1- 8 days at 1- 3°. Egg size 2.0-2.5mm, larval length at hatching 5mm.
Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof, 2007. Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol and Freyhof, Berlin. 646 pp. (Ref. 59043)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes