Redfin, Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus 1758


Other Names: English Perch, European Perch, Reddie, Redfin Perch

Redfin, Perca fluviatilis. Source: Gunther Schmida / http://www.guntherschmida.com.au. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0

Summary:
Redfin, a fish that is native to Europe, were first introduced to Australia as an angling fish.

Identifying features: Body pale greenish-brown to greyish, paler below, with 5-6 broad dark tapering bands along the sides, and the pelvic, anal and outer parts of the caudal fin bright red to reddish-orange. The dark bars along the sides are more pronounced in younger fish.

The species was introduced to Tasmania between 1858 and 1862, and to Victoria in 1861. Redfin are now widespread in much of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. They also occur in southeastern South Australia and in the southwest corner of Western Australia.

Although popular with recreational anglers, these introduced predators are not good for native fishes.

Cite this page as:

Martin F. Gomon & Dianne J. Bray, 2011, Redfin, Perca fluviatilis, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Jun 2016, http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3690

Redfin, Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus 1758

More Info


Distribution

Introduced from Europe to most southern states from the MacIntyre River drainage, NSW (29º48´S) to the Avon River drainage, WA (31º51´S). 

Inhabits freshwater lakes, dams, billabongs, swamps and the slower-flowing reaches of rivers and streams. Redfin prefer abundant aquatic vegetation or other cover such as rocks and fallen timber. They avoid fast-flowing waters and are absent from high-altitude areas. Their optimum temperature range is 8-27°C.

Redfin are usually solitary, and prefer areas with close to cover in rivers, although they may be pelagic in lakes. They are usually sedentary fishes living near bottom, but may undertake seasonal movements.

Features

Meristic features: Dorsal fin Xlll-XVII; I-II, 13-16; Anal fin II, 8-10; Pectoral fin 11-14; Pelvic fin I,5; Lateral line scales 58-68. 

Body elongate-oval, moderately deep, robust, compressed; becoming deeper with increase in size, large fish with distinct hump-backed appearance. Dorsal profile above and behind eye concave, from nape backwards strongly convex; ventral profile flattened to slightly convex. Caudal peduncle long, slender. Head large, snout rounded. Eye of moderate size, situated high on head near dorsal profile. Mouth terminal, ventral in position, protrusible, quite large; gape extending back to below middle of eye. Jaws equal; with broad bands of small teeth. Operculum ends in a strong, broad, flat spine.


Body covered in moderate-sized ctenoid scales that extend forward to nape, opercula, cheeks; scales thick, hard, well embedded. Lateral line unbroken, conspicuous, follows dorsal profile. 


Two narrowly-separated dorsal fins, first spiny, long-based, high, rounded; second smaller, soft-rayed. Anal fin opposite, similar to, but slightly smaller than second dorsal fin. Pectoral fins small, rounded to slightly elongate, positioned low on sides, just below opercular spine. Pelvic fins small, rounded, thoracic. Caudal fin relatively small, slightly forked; tips rounded.

Size

Reaches 60 cm and 10.4 kg; more commonly 1-3 kg.

Colour

Greenish-yellow to brown, often with blue hue, dorsally; lighter greenish to silvery laterally, white ventrally; 6 dark, vertical bars along sides; bars broadest, often bifurcated, on dorsal surface, becoming narrower ventrally. Dorsal fins greyish-green, first with prominent black spot on posterior margin; pectoral fins colourless to greyish-pink; anal and pelvic fins red to orange; caudal fin greyish to reddish.

Feeding

Carnivores - adults feeding on crustaceans (such as atyid shrimps, yabbies and freshwater crayfish), insect larvae and small fish like Eastern Carp Gudgeon, Goldfish and smaller English Perch; juveniles feed on zooplankton, particularly small crustaceans such as copepods and cladocerans, and smaller fishes.

Biology

Spawns at night during late winter to early spring, when water temperatures reach 11-12°C. Females shed all their eggs amongst aquatic vegetation during a single spawning event. The eggs are laid amongst aquatic vegetation or onto submerged timber in long gelatinous ribbons or strands. Fecundity is high, with up to 200,000 eggs per female. The egg strands have numerous small openings through which water circulates. Eggs about 2.0-2.5 mm in diameter and are surrounded by thick mucous membrane. 

The time between spawning and hatching of the larvae varies considerably depending on water temperature. Larvae may hatch after 7-8 days at 14-19°C, or may take 2-3 weeks to hatch at temperatures of 8-9°C. The newly-hatched larvae are 5-8 mm long, and consume the yolk sac after several days. The fry then begin to feeding on zooplankton and disperse through the upper water column. At a length of 15-20 mm, the young perch usually gather in large schools in shallow water near the shore.

Redfin usually mature after 2-3 years, although males may mature earlier, and live to a maximum age about 10-12 years.

Remarks

Although popular with recreational anglers, these introduced predators are not good for native fishes. Redfin compete for food and space with Murray Cod and Golden Perch and have been implicated in the decline of Macquarie Perch. In Western Australia, they have been implicated in the local extinction of Galaxiella munda. They also prey on newly stocked trout.

Unfortunately, Redfin have been introduced into new areas by recreational anglers, thus further threatening native fish populations.

Species Citation

Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus 1758, Systema Naturae: 289. Type locality: Europe.

Author

Martin F. Gomon & Dianne J. Bray

Redfin, Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus 1758

References


Allen, G.R. 1982. Inland Fishes of Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 86 pp. 6 figs 20 pls.

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp.

Arthington, A. & McKenzie, F. 1997. Review of Impacts of Displaced/Introduced Fauna Associated with Inland Waters. State of the Environment Technical Paper Series (Inland Waters). Department of the Environment : Canberra. 69 pp.

Cadwallader, P.L. & Backhouse, G.N. 1983. A Guide to the Freshwater Fish of Victoria. Melbourne : F.D. Atkinson Government Printer 249 pp. figs.

Corfield, J., Diggles, B., Jubb, C., McDowall, R.M., Moore, A., Richards, A. & Rowe, D.K. 2008. Review of the impacts of introduced ornamental fish species that have established wild populations in Australia. Prepared for the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. 277 pp.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Koehn, J.D. & Mackenzie, R.F. 2004. Priority management actions for alien freshwater fish species in Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38: 457-472.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp.

Lintermans, M. 2004. Human-assisted dispersal of alien freshwater fish in Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38(3): 481-501.

Lintermans, M. 2007. Fishes of the Murray-Darling Basin - An Introductory Guide. Canberra : Murray-Darling Basin Commission 157 pp. [MDBC Publication Number 10/07]

McDowall, R.M. (ed.) 1980. Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed 208 pp., figs, 32 pls.

McDowall, R.M. 1996. Family Percidae. pp. 183-185 in McDowall, R.M. (ed.).Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : Reed Books 247 pp.

Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management. Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. figs.

Morgan, D.L., Gill, H.S., Maddern, M.G. & Beatty, S.J. 2004. Distribution and impacts of introduced freshwater fishes in Western Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38: 511-523.

Prokop, F. 2002. Australian Fish Guide. Croydon South, Victoria : Australian Fishing Network 256 pp.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37329001

Fishing:Popular angling fish

Max Size:60 cm; 10.4 kg

Max weight:Quiet freshwaters

Native:Introduced

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