10 20 40 60 cm
mittakaava > 60 cm
Gösta Sundman: Suomen Kalat (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Lauri Urho, Jouko Lehmuskallio, Petri Savola (Uudenmaan ympäristökeskus). All rights reserved.
- Other names: Zander, European pike perch
- Family: Perches – Percidae
- Similar species: perch, ruffe
- Size: Usually 40-70 cm, 0.5-2.5 kg, seldom over 10 kg.
- Appearance: Body fairly slender, streamlined, larger individuals more stocky. Snout pointed. Eyes fairly large, dark, glassy, protruding. First dorsal fin spiny, separated from second dorsal, which has soft rays. Mouth lined with sharp teeth. Scales small, ctenoid (rough-edged) and firmly attached.
- Colouring: Young individuals greyish, sometimes with a greenish tinge. Back shows dark markings that may form vertical bands, though not as clear as in the perch. Sides of older, larger pike-perch may be slightly yellowish. Dorsal and caudal fins show rows of dark spots, underside fins colourless.
- Reproduction: Generally in May-June, sometimes July. The male establishes a suitable territory and prepares a shallow depression. This is then lined with small twigs or other vegetation to which the eggs adhere.
- Food: Begins feeding on other fish when only c. 10 cm in length.
- Distribution and habitat: Found in inland waterways in southern and central Finland as well as a few locations much further north, including lakes Kemijärvi and Raanujärvi. Also occurs in the Gulf of Finland and Gulf of Botnia as far as Uusikaupunki, seldom further north. A separate population exists at Lumparland in the Åland islands.
Pike-perch like to hunt their prey at night and favour feeding grounds in the open sea where small fish such as smelts abound.