European perch
The European perch, Perca fluviatilis, is a predatory species of perch
Perch is a common name for fish of the genus Perca, freshwater gamefish belonging to the family Percidae. The perch, of which there are three species in different geographical areas, lend their name to a large order of vertebrates: the Perciformes, from the Greek perke meaning spotted, and the...

 found in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

. In some areas it is known as the redfin perch or English perch, and it is often known simply as perch. The species is a popular quarry for angler
Angler may refer to:* A fisherman who uses the fishing technique of angling*Angler * The angler, Lophius piscatorius, a monkfish* More generally, any anglerfish in the order Lophiiformes* Angler , a Marvel Comics supervillain...

s and has been widely introduced beyond its native area, into Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. They have caused substantial damage to native fish populations in Australia.

European perch are greenish with red pelvic, anal and caudal fins. They have five to nine dark vertical bars on their sides.

European perch can vary greatly in size between bodies of water. Perch can live for up to 22 years, and older perch are often much larger than average; the maximum recorded length is 60 cm (23.6 in). The British record is 6 lb (2.72 kg), but they grow larger in mainland Europe than in Britain, and to as much as 9 kilograms (19.8 lb) in Australia. As at Nov 2010 the official all tackle world record stands at 1.5 kilogram although individual records from various areas record larger fish.

The perch spawns (in the Northern Hemisphere) at the end of April or beginning of May, depositing the eggs upon water plants, or the branches of trees or shrubs that have become immersed in the water; it does not come into condition again until July. The eggs have been known to stick to the legs of wading birds and then transferred to other waters that the birds visit.


The first scientific description of the river perch was made by Peter Artedi in 1730. He defined the basic morphological signs of this species after studying perch from Swedish lakes. Artedi described its features, counting the fin rays scales and vertebrae of the typical perch.

In 1758 Carl Linnaeus named it Perca fluviatilis. His description was based on Artedi's research.


Baits for perch include minnows, or brandling, red, marsh, and lob worms, shrimps and artificial lures. The tackle needed is fine but strong. Artificial lures are also effective, particularly for medium-sized perch.

Aquarium care

Keeping of perch requires a large tank and a suitable diet. The tank needs to be thickly planted with plants such as Elodea
Elodea is a genus of aquatic plants often called the waterweeds. Elodea is native to North America and is also widely used as aquarium vegetation. The introduction of some species of Elodea into waterways in parts of Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia, and New Zealand has created a significant problem...

, Egeria
Egeria (genus)
Egeria is a genus of two species of aquatic plants in the family Hydrocharitaceae, native to warm-temperate South America.The genus was formerly included in the related genus Elodea, from which it differs in having the leaves in whorls of four or more, not three, and in having more conspicuous...

and others. Perch can be kept in ponds with other appropriate fish; as with most fish, larger ones may consume fry if they are available. A suitable diet is earthworm, flakes
Fish food
Aquarium fish feed is plant or animal material intended for consumption by pet fish kept in aquariums or ponds. Fish foods normally contain macro nutrients, trace elements and vitamins necessary to keep captive fish in good health. Approximately 80% of fishkeeping hobbyists feed their fish...

, silversides
Atheriniformes, also known as the silversides, is an order of ray-finned fish that includes the Old World silversides and several less-familiar families, including the unusual Phallostethidae...

 and frozen foods such as blackworm
Lumbriculus variegatus
Lumbriculus variegatus, sometimes known as blackworm , is the name given to at least three distinct species of worms which are identical in outward appearance...

. If fed properly Perch tend to phase away from small fish.

Relation to the yellow perch

Because of their similar appearance and ability to cross-breed, the yellow perch
Yellow perch
The yellow perch is a species of perch found in the United States and Canada, where it is often referred to by the shortform perch. Yellow perch look similar to the European perch, but are paler and more yellowish, with less red in the fins. They have six to eight dark, vertical bars on their sides...

 (Perca flavescens) has sometimes been classified as a subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

 of the European perch, in which case its trinomial name
Trinomial nomenclature
In biology, trinomial nomenclature refers to names for taxa below the rank of species. This is different for animals and plants:* for animals see trinomen. There is only one rank allowed below the rank of species: subspecies....

 would be Perca fluviatilis flavescens.

However, it is unclear whether or not hybrids are viable, and most classifications treat the two fish as separate species. According to NatureServe, allozyme
Variant forms of an enzyme that are coded by different alleles at the same locus are called allozymes. These are opposed to isozymes, which are enzymes that perform the same function, but which are coded by genes located at different loci....

data indicates that Perca fluviatilis and Perca flavescens are separate species.

External links

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