Silver Perch, Bidyanus bidyanus (Mitchell 1838)


Other Names: Bidyan, Bidyan Grunter, Black Bream, Grunter, Murray Bream, Murray Perch, Silver Bream, Sooty Grunter, Tcheri

Silver Perch, Bidyanus bidyanus. Source: Gunther Schmida / http://www.guntherschmida.com.au. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0

Summary:

A large grunter with a small head, small eyes, a small mouth at the end of a pointed 'beak-like' snout, and a finely serrated preopercular bone on the gill cover.

Body dark grey to silvery greyish-brown above and silvery on sides, with darker scale margins giving a reticulated pattern; belly whitish; dorsal and caudal fins dark, pelvic fins white. Juveniles mottled with darker vertical bars.

Video of Silver Perch in the Sydney Aquarium

The Silver Grunter is the largest terapontid in Australia.


Cite this page as:

Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson, 2011, Silver Perch, Bidyanus bidyanus, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Nov 2014, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/689

Silver Perch, Bidyanus bidyanus (Mitchell 1838)

More Info


Distribution

Originally widespread throughout the Murray-Darling River System (approx. 150-140°00'E), and introduced into the Lake Eyre Basin.

Inhabits freshwater rivers, lakes and reservoirs, particularly in areas of high water flow. Hatchery raised Silver Perch have been stocked in impoundments and river systems in parts of their range.

The Silver Perch, once one of the most common fish species within the Murray Darling Basin, has experienced a significant decline in distribution and abundance throughout most of its range (Clunie & Koehn 2001).

Features

Meristic features:
Dorsal-fin spines/rays: XII-XIII, 11-13
Anal-fin spines/rays: III, 7-9
Pectoral-fin rays: 16-17
Pelvic-fin spines/rays: I, 5
Vertebrae: 10-14
Gill rakers: 8-10 + 1 + 13-16
Transverse scales 12-14/1/24-27

Body elongate, oblong to ovate, depth 2.9-3.5 in SL; maximum body width 1.9-2.1 in body depth; slightly compressed in young, distinctly compressed in adults; dorsal profile more pronounced than ventral, straight from snout to nape, then convex to dorsal origin; ventral profile convex from tip of lower jaw to pelvic insertion, then straight to anus. Head length 3.3-3.9 in SL; eye width 4.4-5.3 in HL; snout length 3.1-3.7 in HL. Jaws equal or upper slightly longer; gape slightly oblique; maxillary reaching to vertical through region between posterior nostril and front of eye; jaw length 3.6-4.0 in HL; teeth conical, slightly depressible, villiform, with outer row larger and followed by an inner band; teeth absent from vomer and palatines. Interorbital region smooth. Nostrils separated by a distance equal to diameter of posterior nostril. Lacrimal serrate. Preoperculum serrate; serrations largest on posterior edge. Lower opercular spine longer and stronger; not extending beyond opercular lobe. Posttemporal exposed; serrate along posterior edge. Cleithrum exposed; serrate posteriorly, scales on side. Supracleithrum exposed.

Scales finely ctenoid; lateral line continuous, smoothly curved; 76-79 scales counted in a series above lateral line; 71-77 scales counted in a series below lateral line; 6-8 scales on caudal; 12-14 scales above lateral line; scales below lateral line; 20-23 predorsal scales to occiput; three rows of scales in sheath at base of dorsal fin, sheath extending across base of entire fin; 3-4 rows of scales in sheath at base of anal fin, sheath extending across base of all rays; cheek scales in 7-10 rows.

Dorsal fin continuous; length of base 1.8-2.0 in SL; spinous dorsal arched, sixth or seventh spine longest, those following decreasing in length gradually to penultimate, which is about same length as last; longest dorsal spines longer than longest dorsal rays; longest dorsal spine 1.4-1.9 in HL; longest dorsal ray 1.9-2.2 in HL; soft dorsal rounded.  Second anal spine strongest and longest; as long as or slightly longer than longest anal rays, 1.6-2.1 in HL, longest anal ray 1.7-1.8 in HL, posterior margin of soft anal obliquely truncate. Pectoral fins pointed; fourth or fifth ray longest. Pelvic fins pointed; first ray longest and drawn out into a filament; reaching two-thirds of distance to anus. Caudal fin emarginate.

Size

Reaches 40 cm SL and 8 kg; commonly to 30 cm.

Colour

Dark grey to greyish-brown above, sides silver, with dark scale margins giving a reticulated pattern; underside pale; dorsal and caudal fins grey, pelvic fins white. Juveniles mottled with darker vertical bars

Feeding

Omnivorous, feeding on insect larvae, molluscs, annelid worms and algae.

Biology

Oviparous pelagic spawners. Silver Perch move upstream to spawn and breeding is initiated by a combination of rising water temperatures and water levels.

Silver Perch are a slow-growing and long-lived species, and may live to more than 17 years of age. An individual recorded from the Cataract Dam, ACT, was 27 years old.

Fisheries

This popular angling and food fish is also used for aquaculture in farm dams. Renowned by anglers as a fast and strong fighting fish.

Historically, Silver Perch formed a significant part of the inland commercial fishery of NSW, and were regularly taken by anglers throughout the State.

Conservation

  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Vulnerable
  • ACT Nature Conservation Act 1980 : Endangered
  • NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994 : Vulnerable
  • Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 : Threatened
  • Populations of Silver Perch in the wild have declined in distribution and number. The species is listed as th

    Populations in the wild are thought to have declined due barriers to migration, egg mortality and spawning failures from lack and water movement and cold waer releases from dams, competition from introduced species such as Redfin and Gambusia, and disease carried by Redfin.

    Similar Species

    Distinguishable from all other members of the family in having depressible but unflattened teeth, 20-25 predorsal scales to the occiput, maximum body width 1.9-2.1 in body depth, 76-79 scales counted in a series above lateral line  and 71-77 below.

    Species Citation

    Acerina (Cernua) bidyana Mitchell 1838, Three Expeditions Into the interior of Eastern Australia, with descriptions of recently explored regions of Australia Felix and the present colony of New South Wales., 1: 95. Type locality: River between Gwydir and McIntyre Rivers, NSW.

    Author

    Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson

    Silver Perch, Bidyanus bidyanus (Mitchell 1838)

    References


    ACT Government, 2003. Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus)—an endangered species. Action Plan No. 26. Environment ACT, Canberra. Online

    Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 240 pp., 63 pls

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

    Allan, G. & Rowland, S.J. 1992. Development of an experimental diet for silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus). Austasia Aquaculture 6(3): 39-40.

    Barlow, C.C., McLoughlin, R. & Bock, K. 1987. Complementary feeding habits of golden perch Macquaria ambigua (Richardson) (Percichthyidae) and silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus (Mitchell)(Teraponidae) in farm dams. Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales 109: 143-152.

    Burchmore, J.J. & Battaglene, S. 1990. Introduced fishes in Lake Burrinjuck, New South Wales, Australia (p. 114) In: Pollard D. (ed.) Introduced and translocated fishes and their ecological effects. Australian Society for Fish Biology Workshop.Bureau of Rural Resources Proceedings No. 8, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

    Cadwallader, P.L. 1978. Some causes of the decline in range and abundance of native fish in the Murray-Darling River system. Proceedings of the Royal Society of  Victoria 90: 211-224.

    Cadwallader, P.L., Backhouse, G.N., Beumer, J.P. & Jackson, P.D. 1984. The conservation status of native freshwater fish of Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 101(3): 112-114.

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

    Clunie, P. & Koehn, J. 2001. Silver Perch: A Recovery Plan. Final Report for Natural Resource Management Strategy Project R7002 to the Murray Darling Basin Commission.

    Clunie, P. & Koehn, J. 2001. Silver perch: a resource document. Final Report for Natural Resource Management Strategy Project R7002 to the Murrray Darling Basin Commission, 172 pp.

    Davis, A.M., Pusey, B.J., Thorburn, D.C., Dowe, J.L., Morgan, D.L. & Burrows, D. 2010. Riparian contributions to the diet of terapontid grunters in wet-dry tropical rivers. Journal of Fish Biology 76: 862–879.

    Davis, A.M., Pearson, R.G., Pusey, B.J., Perna, C., Morgan, D.L. & Burrows, D. (2011). Trophic ecology of northern Australia’s terapontids: ontogenetic dietary shifts and feeding classification. Journal of Fish Biology 78: 265–286.

    Davis, A.M., Pearson, R.G. & Pusey, B.J. 2011. Contrasting intraspecific dietary shifts in two terapontid assemblages from Australia’s wet-dry tropics. Ecology Freshwater Fish: 

    Gehrke, P.C. 1990. Clinotactic responses of larval silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) and golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) to simulated environmental gradients. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41: 523-528.

    Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Co-ordinator-General Department 3rd Edn 640 pp. (as Therapon bidyana).

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

    Guo, R., Mather, P. & Capra, M.F. 1995. Salinity tolerance and osmoregulation in silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus Mitchell (Teraponidae) an endemic Australian freshwater teleost. Marine and Freshwater Research 46: 947-952.

    Humphries, P. & K. Walker. 2013. Ecology of Australian freshwater fishes. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, VIC. 440 pp.

    Kibria, G., Nugegoda, D. Fairclough, R. & Lam, P. 1998. Biology and aquaculture of silver perch, Bidyanus bidyanus (Mitchell 1838) (Terapontidae): A review. Victorian Naturalist 115(2): 56–62.

    Koehn, J.D. & Morison, A.K. 1990. A review of the conservation status of native freshwater fish in Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 107: 13-25.

    Koehn, J.D. & O'Connor, W.G. 1990. Biological information for management of native freshwater fish in Victoria. Department of Conservation and Environment, Victoria.

    Koehn, J.D. & O'Connor, W.G. 1990. Threats to Victorian native freshwater fish. Victorian Naturalist 107: 5-12.

    Lintermans, M. 1991. The decline of native fish in the Canberra region: The effects of habitat modification. Bogong 12(3): 4-7.

    Lintermans, M. 1991. The decline of native fish in the Canberra region: the impacts of introduced species. Bogong 12(4): 18-22.

    Mallen-Cooper, M. 1994. Swimming ability of adult golden perch, Macquaria ambigua (Percichthyidae), and adult silver perch, Bidyanus bidyanus (Teraponidae), in an experimental vertical-slot fishway. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45: 191-198.

    Mallen-Cooper, M. & I.G. Stuart. 2003. Age, growth and non-flood recruitment of two potamodromous fishes in a large semi-arid/temperate river system. River Research and Applications 19(7): 697-719.

    Merrick, J. R. 1996. Family Terapontidae. Freshwater grunters or perches (pp. 164-167) in McDowall, R.M. (ed). Freshwater Fishes of Southeastern Australia (revised ed.) Reed Books, Chatswood, 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

    Mitchell, T.L. 1838. Three Expeditions Into the interior of Eastern Australia, with descriptions of recently explored regions of Australia Felix and the present colony of New South Wales.  London : Boone Vol. 1 351 pp. figs

    Rowland, S.J. 1995. High density pond culture of silver perch, Bidyanus bidyanus. Asian Fish. Sci. 8: 73-79.

    Rowland, S., Dirou, J. & Selosse, P. 1983. Production and stocking of golden and silver perch in NSW. Australian Fisheries September 1983: 24-28.

    Tonkin, Z., A. King, J. Mahoney & J. Morrongiello. 2007. Diel and spatial drifting patterns of silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus eggs in an Australian lowland river. Journal of Fish Biology 70: 313-317.

    Vari, R.P. 1978. The terapon perches (Percoidei, Terapontidae) a cladistic analysis and taxonomic revision. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 159(5): 175–340 figs 1–94.

    Wager, R. 1996. Bidyanus bidyanus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 26 May 2012.

    Wager, R. & Unmack, P.J. 2000. Fishes of the Lake Eyre catchment of central Australia. Brisbane : Department of Primary Industries Queensland Fisheries Service. 88 pp. 

    Warburton, K., S. Retif & D. Hume. 1998. Generalists as sequential specialists: diets and prey switching in juvenile silver perch. Environ. Biol. Fish. 51(4): 445-454.

    Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook.  Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

    Quick Facts


    CAAB Code:37321008

    Conservation:IUCN Vulnerable

    Fishing:Aquaculture & angling fish

    Habitat:Freshwaters

    Max Size:40 cm SL, 8 kg

    Native:Endemic

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