Estuary perch

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Estuary perch
Conservation status
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Percichthyidae
Genus: Percalates
Species: P. colonorum
Binomial name
Percalates colonorum
(Günther, 1863)
  • Lates colonorum Günther, 1863
  • Percalates colonorum (Günther, 1863)
  • Lates antarcticus Castelnau, 1872
  • Lates victoriae Castelnau, 1872
  • Dules novemaculeatus alta Klunzinger, 1872
  • Lates curtus Castelnau, 1875
  • Lates ramsayi W. J. Macleay, 1881
  • Macquaria colonorum McDonald, 1978

Estuary perch (Percalates colonorum) is a species of temperate perch endemic to south-eastern Australia where it tends to prefer brackish waters more so than its congener.


It is very similar to and very closely related to its sister species the Australian bass, Percalates novemaculeata, differing in having a slightly more "scooped" forehead and reaching a larger length of 75 centimetres (30 in) SL. Most individuals only reach around 40 centimetres (16 in). The greatest recorded weight for a specimen of this species is 10 kilograms (22 lb).


Estuary perch breed in winter at the same time as Australian bass, and are similarly sexually dimorphic with females larger than males. Female estuary perch reach sexual maturity at older, larger sizes than males. In Victoria, estuary perch/Australian bass hybrids are regularly recorded; most hybrids appear to be reproductively viable.

Spawning usually happens in the lower sections of estuaries and occurs from July to August in New South Wales. In the western regions of Victorian waters this happens from November to December.[1]


Estuary perch, as also many other native fish of southeast Australia, are very long-lived. Longevity is a survival strategy to ensure that most adults participate in at least one exceptional spawning and recruitment event, which are often linked to unusually wet La Niña years and may only occur every one or two decades. Maximum recorded age is 36 years.


  1. ^ Native Fish Australia: Estuary Perch