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Pirate Perch
Pirate Perch, Aphredoderus sayanus

This family contains only one species, the pirate perch. In Virginia, this species is found in most major Atlantic slope rivers in quiet backwaters. The anus and reproductive opening are positioned normally in young fish, but migrate forward during adult development and are found just behind the head, near the throat in adult fish. These small stream fishes add to the aquatic diversity and serve as links in the food chain and indicators of water quality.
Physical Description: 
�	Drab, dark, stout-bodied fish
�	Anus located behind the head in the jugular
�	Compressed body, arched back
�	Rounded snout with a terminal or supraterminal mouth
�	Single dorsal fin
�	Slightly indented tail fin
�	Cheek area iridescent silver-blue

Similar species: 
�	Only living species in this family

Mean body size:
�	Adults are 45-90 mm standard length 

�	Warm, calm streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes
�	Partially bury themselves in sand in winter

Distribution in VA:
�	Found in all major Atlantic slope drainages, some minor ones, and the Delmarva Peninsula

Food Habits:  
�	Insects, small crustaceans, invertebrates, and fish
�	Feeding occurs at night.

Reproductive Habits: 
�	Maturation at 35 mm for females and 55 mm for males 
�	Spawning occurs in late March through early April
�	Fecundity is 129-160 eggs.
�	Depressions in the sand bottom or may practice branchial brooding

Population Status, Economic, or Ecological Importance: 
�	Popular aquaria fish


Jenkins, R.E and N.M. Burkhead. 1993. Freshwater Fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 

If you are seeking more information for the above species click on the VAFWIS logo (The Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service):

Continue Browsing Families.....
  1. Petromyzontidae, Lampreys
  2. Polyodontidae, Paddlefish
  3. Acipenseridae, Sturgeons
  4. Lepisosteidae, Gars
  5. Amiidae, Bowfins
  6. Anguillidae, Freshwater Eels
  7. Amblyopsidae, Cavefishes
  8. Ictaluridae, Catfish
  9. Percopsidae, Trout-Perches
  10. Salmonidae, Trouts
  11. Clupeidae, Herrings
  12. Esocidae, Pikes
  13. Aphredoderidae, Pirate Perches
  14. Umbridae, Mudminnows
  15. Fundulidae, Killifishes
  16. Poeciliidae, Livebearers
  17. Cyprinidae, Minnows
  18. Catostomidae, Suckers
  19. Gasterosteidae, Sticklebacks
  20. Atherinidae, Silversides
  21. Cottidae, Sculpins
  22. Sciaenidae, Drums
  23. Percidae, Perches
  24. Moronidae, Striped Basses
  25. Centrarchidae, Sunfishes

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