Temporal range: Oligocene - recent
|Nile perch (L. niloticus)|
Lates is a genus of freshwater and marine fish in the family Latidae of the order Perciformes. The type species is Lates niloticus, the Nile perch. The Lates species are native to the Indian and western Pacific Oceans and to rivers and lakes in Africa; several species are endemic to the Rift Valley lakes. The generic name is also used as a common name, lates, for many of the species.
These fishes range in size from less than 30 cm (12 in) to 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in maximum overall length, the largest species reaching weights of up to 200 kg (440 lb). They all have the characteristic centropomid shape, with the two-part dorsal fin and general percoid form.
The Nile perch has become infamous as an invasive species in the east African Lake Victoria, where many native cichlids now are extinct. In contrast to the Nile perch, several smaller members of the genus Lates with relatively restricted African distributions are themselves considered threatened.
The generic name Lates derives from the Latin latēre (to be hidden).
- Tanganyika lates, Lates angustifrons Boulenger, 1906
- Barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch, 1790)
- Japanese lates, Lates japonicus Katayama & Taki, 1984
- Rudolf lates, Lates longispinis Worthington, 1932
- Albert lates, Lates macrophthalmus Worthington, 1929
- Bigeye lates, Lates mariae Steindachner, 1909
- Forktail lates, Lates microlepis Boulenger, 1898
- Nile perch, Lates niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Sleek lates, Lates stappersii (Boulenger, 1914)
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2004). Species of Lates in FishBase. October 2004 version.
- "Lates". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 20 December 2004.
- Murray,A.M., Attia,Y.S. A new species of Lates (Teleostei: Perciformes) from the Lower Oligocene of Egypt , Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2004, 24(2):299–308