Perch (Perca fluviatilis)
Species: : P. fluviatilis
Binominal name: Perca fluviatilis
Synonyms: Perca vulgaris, Perca italica, Perca fluviatilis var. nigrescens, Perca Helvetica, Perca fluviatilis var. aurea, Perca fluviatilis var. macedonica, Perca fluviatilis morpha phragmiteti, Perca fluviatilis zaissanica, Perca fluviatilis intermedius
Common names: Perch, Common perch, Redfin perch, European perch, Big-scaled redfin, English perch, Eurasian perch, Eurasian river perch,
Perca fluviatilis is a predatory species of perch found in Europe and northern Asia. The species is a popular quarry for anglers, and has been widely introduced beyond its native area, into Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They have caused substantial damage to native fish populations in Australia and New Zealand. They were originally were introduced to New Zealand by early European settlers to provide a food supply. They have become well established in Otago and Southland, but also occur in many other parts of New Zealand, especially around Auckland, Waikato and in North Island west coast lakes south of New Plymouth. Today, they are being deliberately (but unofficially) spread to small lakes and ponds to create new recreational fisheries.
Their spread is a major concern as adult perch are carnivores, and feed mainly on small fish and they have reduced the populations of the native common bullies, inanga, crayfish, galaxiids and smelt in South Island lakes.
Perca fluviatilis body is moderately deep and covered with rough-edged scales. The head is short, snout rounded and blunt. The teeth small but very numerous. They are greenish in colour with red pelvic, anal and caudal fins.. They have two dorsal fins, the first having 13–17 firm sharp spines. They have five to nine dark vertical bars on their sides and there is a broad flat spine on the gill cover. Most perch in New Zealand are between 1–2 kg in weight.
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