10 20 40 60 cm

mittakaava < 20 cm

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Chinese sleeper

Perccottus glenii

  • Other names: Amur sleeper
  • Family: Freshwater sleepers – Odontobutidae
  • Similar species: black goby, bullhead, common goby, perch, ruffe, sand goby, two-spotted goby
  • Size: 10–20 cm, max. 25 cm.
  • Appearance: This large-headed intruder resembles a perch, ruffe or sculpin, as suggested by the family name Perccottus. Unlike the gobies, its pelvic fins have not fused together, although the eyes are almost on top of the head. Little or no gap between the two dorsal fins, the first of which has 6–7 spiny rays. The second dorsal and anal fins are shorter than in the gobies and also more rounded, as is the caudal fin.
  • Colouring: Overall brownish with large dark patches sometimes forming a checkered or striped pattern. Dark lines on head radiating from eye.
  • Reproduction: Spawns in warm, shallow water among vegetation. There are no records of spawning in the eastern Gulf of Finland, but in the area around Moscow the eggs are laid in June-July. The male fiercely guards both its spawning site and the eggs, and is reported to try to bite anyone who dares put his hand too close.
  • Food: Insect larvae, insects and small crustaceans, larger individuals taking fish fry.
  • Distribution and habitat: The Chinese sleeper is a freshwater fish originating from the Far East. It was first introduced as an aquarium and pond fish to places including St. Petersburg in the early 1900s. Escapees have since found their way into the easternmost parts of the Gulf of Finland. It has not yet been recorded in Finnish waters, but has been caught off the coast of Estonia. However, this intruder is probably present off the Finnish coast in the eastern Gulf of Finland. The Chinese sleeper has spread to many other waterways in Europe. It favours slack or slowly moving water.

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