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Pikeperch, Sander lucioperca


Short description of Sander lucioperca, Pikeperch

Piscivorous fish. Grows to a maximum length of 130 cm total length, weighs up to 20 kg, and has a lifespan of up to 16 years on average. The Zander has a long slender body with no spines on the gill covers. It has two dorsal fins, the anterior of which has 13–20 spines and the other has 1-2 spines and 18-24 soft rays. The anal fin has 2-3 spines and 0-14 soft rays, and the caudal fin has 17 soft rays. Zander have 45-47 vertebrae and have many small sharp teeth and fewer large teeth in the mouth for catching their prey. Colouration is a greyish brown back with light silvery sides marked with between 8-12 dark vertical stripes (often broken into spots).

Description of Sander lucioperca, Pikeperch status in GB

Growth of self-sustaining populations of Zander in introduced range, reintroduction in some of native range. 

Habitat summary: Sander lucioperca, Pikeperch

Zander prefer deep, calm, temperate waters. They are found in both clear and turbid waters but require a high oxygen concentration. Within the suitable habitat they use different microhabitats during different seasons. In the autumn they prefer waters with a depth of 1.2-1.8 m with a substrate made of large pebbles. They then move to much deeper waters where they spend the winter. Following this they migrate to shallower waters with a gravel/pebble substrate for spawning. Habitat preferences are more varied in the summer. Optimal conditions for egg development: water temperature between 12-20°C; high oxygen concentration (> 4.5 mg O2/l); low salinity.

Overview table

Environment: Freshwater
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: China, Afghanistan, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Belarus, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gruziya, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kirgizistan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia Central, Russia East, Russia North, Russia Northwest, Russia South, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia
Functional type: Predator
Status in England: Non-Native
Location of first record: Wobourn Abbey (Beds)
Date of first record: 1878

Distribution map

Map of the UK with areas shaded to show the UK distribution of Pikeperch

GB Distribution from NBN Atlas

Author's name:

Marc Botham

Last updated:

October 4th 2019

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