Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eastern Pikeperela Or Eastern Zander (Stizostedion volgense)

The Eastern Pikeperch is very similar to the sander, but is generally smaller and its first dorsal fin is very high. Its jaws do not contain the strikingly large teeth of the sander and the whole of its front gill cover is covered with scales. It has similar colouring, but its transverse stripes are usually more distinctive and do not disintegrate into a series of spots. It is smaller in size and rarely exceeds a length of 50 cm or a weight of about 2 kg. It inhabits the deeper, sandy or stony stretches of rivers, where it likes to hide in the irregularities of the river bed and under the banks. It spawns in April and May in the shallows and, as with the sander, the male guards the nest. The Eastern pikeperch catches its food, which consists predominantly of fish, mainly in the evening and at night. It feeds even during the coldest season.

It inhabits the tributaries of the Black and Caspian Seas, from the Danube as far as the River Ural. It can easily be mistaken for the sander and therefore it is sometimes mistakenly regarded as being very rare. In fact it lives in large numbers along with the sander in the River Danube (close to Bratislava) and in its backwaters.

Maximum size and weight: 50 cm, 2 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Smaller than sander; the conspicuous stripes do not disintegrate into series of spots. Strikingly large teeth missing.

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