Swimming with Perches

Venu Kantamani 04/07/14 Vu - PAP Bio - Period 4

Background Information

Perca Flavescens, more commonly known as the perch, belongs to the kingdom Animalia under the phylum Chordata, class Osteichthyes, order Perciformes, and family Percidae. The perch's diet includes immature insects, larger invertebrates, fish, and fish eggs. Its main predators are various large fish such as the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, and channel catfish and birds such as the heron, gull, eagle, hawk, and kingfisher. The perch and other bony fish have had many ecological adaptations including overlapping scales, lateral line (to sense vibration), swim/air bladder, and a two-chambered heart.


In this lab , students are to work with a lab group in order to learn from the dissection of a perch. They are to observe the placement of organs and their relationships to one another.

Endocrine system

The endocrine system of the perch consists of the pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, ultimobranchial body, pancreatic islets, gonad, and chromaffin tissue. The pineal gland secretes melatonin, a derivative of serotonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of sleep patterns in the circadian rhythms and seasonal functions. The pituitary gland controls all other glands and over growth processes. The thyroid gland controls how quickly the perch's body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body is to hormones. The ultimobranchial body produces calcitonin, a hormone that plays a role in calcium homeostasis. The pancreatic islets produce insulin which control blood sugar levels. Gonads produce various sex hormones. The chromaffin tissue contains secretory granules that produce two types of cells, adrenaline and nor adrenaline cells.

Interesting facts

Yellow perch are known to live as long as 13 years. Hatching of perches occurs 11-27 days after fertilization. Their anal, pelvic, and pectoral fins are red to orange, with these colors being brightest in males during the spawning season.