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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

Pirate perch family - aphredoderidae,   pp. 733-738 PDF (2.0 MB)

Page 736

736   Pirate Perch Family-Aphredoderidae 
outlet into the Tomahawk River (Oneida County), 
  In Wisconsin, the pirate perch is rare to uncom- 
mon in sloughs of the Mississippi River, the Wiscon- 
sin River and the lower portions of its tributaries, and 
the Des Plaines River system. Populations are widely 
separated. It seems probable that the records from 
the Embarrass River (Marathon County) in the Lake 
Michigan basin, and from the upper Wisconsin River 
system (Oneida County), resulted from introduc- 
tions. This species has been given watch status in 
Wisconsin. (Wis. Dep. Nat. Resour. Endangered 
Species Com. 1975, Les 1979). 
  The pirate perch occurs in oxbows, overflow ponds, 
sloughs, marshes, ditches, and the pools of low-gra- 
dient (0.57 m/kin, 3 ft/mi) streams. It is found over 
sand, or over soft, muck bottoms covered with or- 
ganic debris. Frequently it is associated with brush 
piles or dense aquatic vegetation. The streams gen- 
erally are medium- to large-sized rivers, but occa- 
sionally may be creeks less than 3 m wide. This spe- 
     . Ar         Range of the pirate perch 
              0 Specimens examined 
                  A Wisconsin Fish Distribution Study (1974-78) 
                  o Literature and reports 
                  o Greene (1935) 
des occurs mostly in quiet water, seldom in a sluggish 
or stronger current. 
  The best collection of pirate perch was made with 
a minnow seine from backwater of the Wisconsin 
River, which had been flooded less than a week pre- 
viously. The bottom was a gray, organic muck over- 
laid with leaves and sticks at depths of 0.6-1.0 m (2- 
3 ft). No current was discernible. 
The spawning of the pirate perch occurs in the spring, 
probably in May. It has been suggested in the litera- 
ture that the pirate perch builds a nest which is 
guarded by both parents. However, Pflieger (1975) 
reasoned that since the urogenital pore is situated on 
the throat, the eggs are more likely to be incubated 
in the gill cavities, as they are in some cavefishes 
whose urogenital pore is similarly located. This con- 
cept is supported by the work of Martin and Hubbs 
(1973), who observed that, as the eggs were ex- 
pressed from a female pirate perch, they tended to 

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