A perch is a freshwater bony fish belonging to the family Percidae. Perch, of which there are three species, lend their name to the largest order of vertebrates: the Perciformes, from the Greek perke meaning perch, and the Latin forma meaning shape. All perciform fish share the perch's general morphology. The European perch (Perca fluviatilis) is found in Europe and northern Asia. It is 15-60 cm long, and may weigh up to 10.4 kg. It is usually dark green with red fins. It has been successfully introduced in New Zealand and Australia where it is called redfin perch. The Balkhash perch (Perca schrenkii) is found in Kazakhstan; in Lake Balkhash and Lake Alakol. It is very similar to the European perch, and grows to a comparable size.














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Perch have ctenoid scales. When looking through a microscope, the scale look like a plate with growth rings and spikes on the top edges. Externally the anatomy of perch is simple enough. On the dorsal side of the fish, there consists a upper maxilla and lower mandible for the mouth. A pair of nostrils. Two lidless eyes. On the posterior sides are the operculum, which are used to protect the gills. Also there is the lateral line system which is sensitive to vibrations in the water. They have a pair of pectoral and pelvic fins. On the anterior end of the fish, there are two dorsal fins. The first one is spiny and the second is soft. There is also a caudal fin and anal fin. Also there is a cloacal opening right behind the anal fin. The perch spawns at the end of April or beginning of May, depositing it upon weeds, or the branches of trees or shrubs that have become immersed in the water;

Pictures 1 To 4 Come From The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Pictures 5 To 6 Are Courtesy of The U.S.D.A.




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