Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Sander lucioperca



Sander lucioperca (pike-perch)


  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Sander lucioperca
  • Preferred Common Name
  • pike-perch
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Chordata
  •       Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •         Class: Actinopterygii
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • As S. lucioperca is an obligate piscivore as an adult, this species will predate on native and non-native fish species where introduced. Following its importation to the England in the mid-1800s, S. lucio...

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Zander (Sander lucioperca), caught in Cyprus on March 17, 2007. Note matchbox, ca.50mm length, for scale:
CaptionZander (Sander lucioperca), caught in Cyprus on March 17, 2007. Note matchbox, ca.50mm length, for scale:
CopyrightPublic Domain - released into the public domain by its author, Elnuko at the Lithuanian project.
Zander (Sander lucioperca), caught in Cyprus on March 17, 2007. Note matchbox, ca.50mm length, for scale:
AdultZander (Sander lucioperca), caught in Cyprus on March 17, 2007. Note matchbox, ca.50mm length, for scale:Public Domain - released into the public domain by its author, Elnuko at the Lithuanian project.


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Sander lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758)

Preferred Common Name

  • pike-perch

Other Scientific Names

  • Centropomus sandat Lacepède, 1802
  • Lucioperca linnei Malm, 1877
  • Lucioperca lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Lucioperca sandra Cuvier, 1828
  • Perca lucioperca Linnaeus, 1758
  • Sander lucioperca (Oken, 1817)
  • Stizostedion lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Stizostedion luciperca Linnaeus, 1758
  • Stizostedium lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758)

International Common Names

  • English: European pike-perch; European walleye; perch-pike; pikeperch; zander
  • Spanish: lucioperca
  • French: perche-brochet; sandre
  • Russian: sudak

Local Common Names

  • Albania: luci; lucioperke; sharmaku heshtor; sharmaku i argjende; sharmaku i eger
  • Austria: Schill
  • Bulgaria: biala ribba; byala riba; sulka
  • Czech Republic: candát obecný
  • Denmark: sandart; sandørred
  • Estonia: koha
  • Finland: kuha
  • Germany: Amaul; Berschick; Candat; Fogas; Hechtbarsch; Nagemaul; Sandart; Sandat; Sandaten; Sandbarsch; Sandel; Sander; Sannat; Saumer; Schiel; Schill; Schindel; Wolgazander; Zander; Zannat; Zant
  • Greece: potamolavrako
  • Hungary: fogas süllö
  • Iran: sevideh; sevideh; sibey; sibeyak; sibeyak; soof-e-maamooli; soof-e-maamooli; suf; suf; suf-e ma'muli; suf-e Ma'muli
  • Italy: lucioperca; sandra
  • Latvia: zandarts
  • Lithuania: starkis
  • Netherlands: snoekbaars
  • Norway: gjörs
  • Poland: sandacz
  • Portugal: lúcio perca; lucioperca
  • Romania: alâar; ciopic; guran; salau; strapazan; suduc; zmug
  • Russian Federation: sudakk
  • Serbia: smud; smudj; smuo smudj; zubac obycajny
  • Slovakia: zubác obycajný
  • Slovenia: smuc
  • Sweden: gös
  • Switzerland: Zander
  • Turkey: akbalik; levrek; sudak baligi; uzunlevrek baligi
  • Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro): smud; smudj

Summary of Invasiveness

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As S. lucioperca is an obligate piscivore as an adult, this species will predate on native and non-native fish species where introduced. Following its importation to the England in the mid-1800s, S. lucioperca was introduced into the wild during the mid-twentieth century, most notably to the lower part of the River Great Ouse system (East Anglia) and then to canals of the Midlands. A summary of the extensive research on the species that followed (Smith et al., 1998) could not lend support to the numerous claims of adverse impacts, reporting that evidence of negative impacts was equivocal, with only one study suggesting lower numbers of native forage fishes in a stretch of (man-made) canal with S. lucioperca than in a nearby stretch of canal where the species was absent. Predation on native fishes was subsequently reported elsewhere, including on ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) as well as seaward migrating smolts of sea trout (Salmo trutta) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), with potentially adverse population impacts (Jepsen et al., 2000; Koed, 2001; Koed et al., 2002). Crivelli (1995) also shows how the introduction of a non-native piscivorous species into inland waters can lead to the extinction and decimation of populations of native species in the Mediterranean region and how the removal of these native species, leads to major changes in the ecosystem. Schulze et al. (2006) noted that when S. lucioperca was introduced into a German lake, there was a shift in perch (Perca fluviatilis) habitat usage from the pelagic zones of the lake towards the littoral zone in response to the competition from the pikeperch. They also stated there was an increase in predation on juvenile perch by both pikeperch and pike (Esox Lucius) leading to a decrease in the abundance of large perch. As S. lucioperca is an open water predator and well adapted to feeding in turbid water or low-light conditions (Karas and Sandström, 2002), it can also potentially cause the collapse of a fishery by removing many of the young fish not allowing them to grow and spawn. S. lucioperca is a vector of fish diseases and parasites which can be transmitted to native and farmed fish and it has also been found to be capable of hybridizing with Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) (Kahilainen et al., 2011) and Volga perch Sander volgensis (Specziar et al., 2009; Müller et al., 2010).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Chordata
  •             Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •                 Class: Actinopterygii
  •                     Order: Perciformes
  •                         Suborder: Percoidei
  •                             Family: Percidae
  •                                 Genus: Sander
  •                                     Species: Sander lucioperca


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S. lucioperca has a long slender body with the back and flanks are green to blue-grey to brown-black, the belly is white to bluish and fins are yellow-grey. The dorsal and caudal fins have rows of black spots on the membranes, largest and most distinctive on the spiny dorsal fin. Other fins are pale yellow. See for images. Several dark bands run vertically from the back down each side (Maitland, 2004). There are no spines on the gill cover. The mouth has many small teeth and 1–2 enlarged canine teeth in anterior part of each jaw. The species has two dorsal fins – one with 13 to 20 spines and one with 1–2 spines and 18 to 24 soft rays. The caudal fin has 17 soft rays and the anal fin has 2–3 spines and 10–14 soft rays (Larsen and Berg, 2006). S. lucioperca can reach sizes up to 1000 mm (standard length) (Lelek, 1987), which corresponds to a weight of about 15–20 kg. Maximum age is inversely correlated to growth rate. Slow-growing S. lucioperca reach 20–24 years of age; while faster-growing reach about 8–9 years (Sonesten, 1991). Stunted populations have been reported, with limited food resources being identified as the likely reason for the unusually slow growth (Vinni et al., 2009).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Sea Areas

Atlantic, NortheastPresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2004


AfghanistanPresentNativeCoad, 1981; Froese and Pauly, 2004
ArmeniaPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
AzerbaijanPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
ChinaPresentIntroducedWalker Yang, 1999; Froese and Pauly, 2004
Georgia (Republic of)PresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
IranPresentNativeCoad, 1996; Froese and Pauly, 2004
KazakhstanPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
KyrgyzstanPresentIntroducedSavvaitova and Petr, 1999; Froese and Pauly, 2004
TurkeyPresentIntroducedFroese and Pauly, 2004; Innal and Erk'Akan, 2006
UzbekistanPresentNativeKhurshut, 2001; Froese and Pauly, 2004


AlgeriaPresentIntroducedFAO, 1997; Froese and Pauly, 2004
MoroccoPresentIntroducedWelcomme, 1988; Froese and Pauly, 2004
TunisiaPresentIntroducedWelcomme, 1988; Froese and Pauly, 2004

North America

USAPresentIntroducedRobins et al., 1991; Froese and Pauly, 2004


AlbaniaPresentNativeDhora, 2010
AustriaPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
BelgiumPresentIntroducedBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
BulgariaPresentIntroducedBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
CroatiaPresentIntroducedFAO, 1997; Froese and Pauly, 2004
CyprusPresentIntroduced1987FAO, 1997
Czech RepublicPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
DenmarkPresentIntroducedWelcomme, 1988; Froese and Pauly, 2004
EstoniaPresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2004; Froese and Pauly, 2011
FinlandPresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2004; Froese and Pauly, 2011
FrancePresentIntroducedKeith et al., 2001; Froese and Pauly, 2004
GermanyPresentNativeGerstmeier and Romig, 1998; Froese and Pauly, 2004
GreecePresentNativeBobori et al., 2001
HungaryPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
ItalyPresentIntroducedGandolfi et al., 1991; Froese and Pauly, 2004
LatviaPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
LithuaniaPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
MoldovaPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
NetherlandsPresentIntroducedWelcomme, 1988; Froese and Pauly, 2004
NorwayPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
PolandPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
PortugalPresentIntroducedAzevedo et al., 2004
-AzoresPresentIntroducedAzevedo et al., 2004
RomaniaPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
Russian FederationPresentNativeReshetnikov et al., 1997; Froese and Pauly, 2004
SerbiaPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971
SlovakiaPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
SloveniaPresentIntroducedFAO, 1997; Froese and Pauly, 2004
SpainPresentIntroducedElvira, 1995; Froese and Pauly, 2004
SwedenPresentNativeBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
SwitzerlandPresentIntroducedBlanc et al., 1971; Froese and Pauly, 2004
UKPresentIntroduced1878 Not invasive Smith et al., 1998; Froese and Pauly, 2004
UkrainePresentNativeSabaneev, 1911; Froese and Pauly, 2004
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentNativeFroese and Pauly, 2004

History of Introduction and Spread

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S. lucioperca has a long history of introductions outside of its native range, both as an angling target and for aquaculture, and has occasionally been used as a biomanipulation tool to remove unwanted cyrpinids (Lappalainen et al., 2003; Larsen and Berg, 2006). The native range includes the Caspian, Baltic, Black and Aral Sea basins and the Elbe (North Sea basin) and Maritza (Aegean Sea basin) drainages north to 65°N in Finland (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007). However, this species has now been introduced to most of Europe, as well as parts of Asia (Turkey) and Africa. Its range now includes the Netherlands (Welcomme, 1988), France (Keith and Allardi, 2001), Spain (Elvira, 1995), the UK (Wheeler, 1992; Copp et al., 2003) and Denmark (Dahl, 1982).


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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Algeria Hungary 1985 Froese and Pauly (2011)
Azores unknown Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
China Former USSR 1960-1969 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Croatia unknown Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Cyprus Hungary 1987 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Czech Republic unknown Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Denmark Sweden ca. 1910 Yes Berg (2012)
Denmark Germany 1879 Yes Berg (2012)
Former USSR unknown Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
France 1888 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Germany 1800-1899 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Iran unknown Froese and Pauly (2011)
Italy 1900 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Kyrgyzstan 1954-1956 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Morocco Germany 1949 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Netherlands Germany 1901 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Portugal unknown Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Slovenia unknown Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Spain unknown Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Switzerland 1880 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Tunisia Germany 1968 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
Turkey Austria 1955 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
UK Sweden 1878 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
UK Germany 1878 Yes Froese and Pauly (2011)
USA Germany 1970 Froese and Pauly (2011)
Uzbekistan unknown Froese and Pauly (2011)

Risk of Introduction

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Historically, S. lucioperca has been mostly introduced into lakes, and from these lakes, the fish have migrated into larger rivers (e.g. River Gudenaa in Denmark; Koed, 2001), and in some cases have, through migration, established themselves into neighbouring lakes (Larsen and Berg, 2006). In Sweden and other countries, S. lucioperca is still stocked to support fisheries, both within and outside the area of its natural range (Laikre and Palmé, 2005), including as illegal releases by anglers (Copp et al., 2003). Illegal stockings by anglers have also been reported from Denmark (Berg, 2012).


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S. lucioperca inhabits rivers, lakes, reservoirs, moderately running waters and brackish coastal waters with salinities of ca. 12 ppt (Larsen and Berg, 2006) or more. It thrives in turbid, moderately eutrophic waters with high oxygen content ( This species can be found in small schools near sandy and stony bottoms in deeper areas of rivers, preferably in areas with cover. They are also found in clear waters if the depth is sufficient to enable it to seek refuge during daytime (Sonesten, 1991). Habitat preferences vary over the year and according to age and environmental conditions (Lappalainen et al., 1995). During the autumn, S. lucioperca inhabits areas of 1.2–1.8 m in depth, until the winter months when they move to much deeper waters. Once winter is over, they migrate to shallower waters with a gravel/pebble substratum for spawning. Habitat usage during the summer months is varied. Diel variations in adults indicate elevated activity levels at dusk (Poulet et al., 2005).

Habitat List

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Inland saline areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Estuaries Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Lakes Principal habitat Natural
Reservoirs Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Rivers / streams Principal habitat Natural
Inshore marine Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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S. lucioperca has a chromosone number of 24 haploid/gametic (n) and 48 diploid/zygotic (2n) (Klinkhardt et al., 1995). It is known to hybridize with Sander volgensis (Specziar et al., 2009; Müller et al., 2010) and also perch (Perca fluviatilis) (Kahilainen et al., 2011). DNA analyses of this species have been conducted by Säisä et al. (2010) and April et al. (2011).

Reproductive Biology

S. lucioperca begin migrating about a month prior to spawning into shallow areas, usually around April-May, or when temperatures reach 10–14°C in the spawning grounds. Brackish water fish will migrate to freshwater habitats. The males are territorial and construct a shallow nest, usually about 5–10 cm deep and 50 cm in diameter in sand or gravel, or among exposed plant roots on which eggs are deposited, usually in turbid water and at 1–3 m depth (Sokolov and Berdicheskii, 1989). Breeding usually takes place at dawn or during the night. Fecundity is dependant on the size of the female, but ranges between 150–400 eggs/g and range in size from 0.9–1.5 mm. After spawning, the female departs and the male guards the nest, fanning the eggs with his pectoral fins.


Most of the work completed on this species has been undertaken in Iran, with Eslami and Mokhayer (1977) finding some of the S. lucioperca to be infested with larvae of the nematode Anisakis. Eslami et al. (2011) reported Anisakis from the gastro-intestinal tract. This parasite can infest man if fish is eaten smoked, salted or fried at temperatures below 50°C. Mokhayer (1976) records the acanthocephalan Corynosoma caspicum. Jalali and Molnár (1990) record the monogenean Ancyrocephalus paradoxus. Masoumian et al. (2005) recorded the protozoan parasite Trichodina perforata. Pazooki et al. (2007) recorded various parasites, including Diplostomum spathaceum and Argulus foliaceus. Barzegar et al. (2008) recorded the digenean eye parasite Diplostomum spathaceum from this fish. Barzegar and Jalali (2009) reviewed crustacean parasites in Iran and found Achtheres percarum on this species. Azadikhah et al. (2009) found 6 parasite species including two Trichodina spp. from the gills and Vorticella sp. on the skin; other parasites included Gyrodactylus sp. and Argulus foliaceus from the gills, and Diplostomum spathaceum from the lens of the eyes. Rolbiecki (1993) noted the parasitic metazoa of pikeperch in Poland to include Achteres percarum, Ancyrocephalus paradoxus, Argulus foliaceus, Azygia lucii, Bothriocephalus sp., pleroceroid, Brachyphallus crenatus, Bucephalus polymorphus, Bunodera luciopercae, Camallanus lacustris, Camallanus truncates, Corynosoma semerme, Diplostomum spathaceum, Ichthyocotylurus playcephalus, Neoechinorhynchus rutile, Piscicola geometra, Pomphorhynchus laevis and Tylodelphys clavata.


The diet of pikeperch in Estonia included smelt (Osmerus eperlanus), ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus), perch (Perca fluviatilis), vendace (Coregonus albula), pikeperch itself and roach (Rutilus rutilus; Kangur and Kangur, 1998). In Finland, smelt were the most numerous prey species for every size-class of pikeperch, but the diet also included perch and roach (Keskinen, 2008). Pikeperch has also been reported to feed on smolts of migrating sea trout (Salmo trutta) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo truttaJepson et al., 2000; Koed, 2001, Koed et al., 2002). 

Environmental Requirements

S. luciperca occurs in large, turbid rivers and eutrophic/mesotrophic lakes, brackish coastal lakes and estuaries (Lelek, 1987); however, it requires a high oxygen concentration. It also occurs in oligotrophic clearwater lakes if they are deep enough to provide dark environments during the daytime (Sonesten, 1991). Salinity levels of up to 20 psu are tolerated, with preferred levels of <5 ppt (Winkler et al. 1988; Saisa et al., 2010). Spawning is restricted to salinity levels below 5 ppt (Lappalainen, 2003).


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Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Preferred Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Preferred Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Dissolved oxygen (mg/l) Optimum >4.5 tolerated
Salinity (part per thousand) Optimum Up to 20 ppt tolerated (Winkler et al., 1988; Saisa et al., 2010)
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 27 Optimum 0-35 tolerated (Craig, 2000)

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Anguilla anguilla Predator Juveniles not specific
Esox lucius Predator All Stages not specific
Perca fluviatilis Predator Juveniles not specific
Phoca caspica Predator All Stages not specific
Silurus glanis Predator All Stages not specific

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

S. lucioperca migrates during the spawning season and also in winter (Koed, 2001) to find suitable habitats. Larvae drift passively after hatching.

Intentional Introduction

S. lucioperca has a long history of introductions outside of its native range, as an angling target and an aquaculture species and has occasionally been used as a biomanipulation tool to remove unwanted cyprinids (Lappalainen et al., 2003; Larsen and Berg, 2006).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Acclimatization societies Yes Yes
Aquaculture Yes Yes
Fisheries Yes Yes
Food Yes Yes
Forage Yes Yes
Hunting, angling, sport or racing Yes Yes
Intentional release Yes Yes
Interbasin transfers Yes Yes
Interconnected waterways Yes Yes
Live food or feed trade Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Aquaculture stockAll life stages Yes Yes
WaterAll life stages by natural dispersal Yes Yes

Impact Summary

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Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture Positive and negative

Economic Impact

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In its introduced range, S. lucioperca is mainly used for sport fishing, so there is an economic benefit for individuals and fishermen, as well as the creation of jobs in the aquaculture industry.

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Biodiversity

The impact of introductions of S. lucioperca are well documented, for instance, this species is known to hybridize with Volga pikeperch Sander volgensis (Specziar et al., 2009; Müller et al., 2010) and also a single incident of hybridization with Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis has been reported (Kahilainen et al., 2011).

S. lucioperca was introduced to the Turkish Lake Egirdir in 1955 and from 1961 became an important commercial species there. However, the introduction is associated with the disappearance of several indigenous fish species including two in the genus Phoxinellus which are now considered extinct (Crivelli, 1995). In this case it also led to an increase in the native Turkish crayfish Astacus leptodactylus which was rare due to predation on eggs and larvae by the now extinct fish, resulting in an increase in foreign trade for the Turkish economy. It has also been claimed that introductions have resulted in a significant reduction of cyprinid fishes in the UK, but a comprehensive review found no convincing evidence of this (Smith et al., 1998).

S. lucioperca is a vector of the trematode Bucephalus polymorphus which caused a decrease in native cyprinid populations in some French basins in the 1960s and 1970s (Lambert, 1997) and recently in water systems newly colonized by zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) the primary host of this parasite.

Social Impact

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In a lot of countries, S. lucioperca is considered a highly desirable species for recreational as well as commercial fishing, so in addition to its value for commercial fishermen, recreational fishing and tourism may create a demand not only for food, accommodation and transportation, but also for related recreational activities such as camping, boating, canoeing, etc; all of which may provide economic opportunities locally.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Long lived
Impact outcomes
  • Changed gene pool/ selective loss of genotypes
  • Conflict
  • Host damage
  • Negatively impacts aquaculture/fisheries
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Hybridization
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Predation
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally illegally
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Forage


  • Biological control


  • Sport (hunting, shooting, fishing, racing)

Human food and beverage

  • Meat/fat/offal/blood/bone (whole, cut, fresh, frozen, canned, cured, processed or smoked)

Detection and Inspection

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Dorsal fins almost touching; no black spot on the base of the backward end of the 1st dorsal fin; large canine teeth; 80-95 lateral ctenoid scales; no spine pointing backwards on the operculum bone.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Generally easy to distinguish from other percids except the other Sander species.

Prevention and Control

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SPS measures

In the UK, S. lucioperca requires a licence under the Import of Live Fish Act (1980) to keep or release (i.e. fisheries).

Early warning systems

The list server Aliens-L provides an international forum for announcing recent discoveries of non-native species. A similar, but peer-reviewed function for non-native aquatic organisms is provided by the international journal, Aquatic Invasions (, which was set up as part of the EC Integrated Project No. 506675 ‘Assessing LArge scale environmental Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods (ALARM)’.

Rapid response

This is established at the national level.

Public awareness

Not much awareness on species invasiveness; however, introductions are well published through the angling media.


In the UK there have been local attempts to remove S. lucioperca (e.g. Smith et al., 1996), however, Britton et al. (2010) states that eradication would be virtually impossible when the species has a wide geographical distribution (e.g. England).


In the UK, the current policy for consents to keep and release is based on a presumption against licenses for drainage basins where the species is currently absent. Similar policies may exist in other countries where the species is not native.


As established populations are difficult and costly to control, further introductions or stocking should be avoided.

Physical/mechanical control

Includes electrofishing and gill and seine netting.

Movement control

Under current EU legislation on the use of alien species in aquaculture, movements and releases of non-native species within the EU are regulated, requiring an appropriate risk assessment and consideration of management options for parts of the EU where a species is ‘locally absent’.

Chemical control

The only effective method of fish eradication is the application of rotenone, a piscicide that is also toxic to non-target species.

Monitoring and Surveillance

General survey methods include gill nets (including multi mesh gill nets designed for monitoring fish in lakes), seine nets, fyke nets etc. and electrofishing. Both radio and acoustic telemetry can also be used.

Ecosystem Restoration

S. lucioperca is used in the top-down biomanipulation of ecosystems for restoration purposes (e.g. Mehner et al., 2004; Dörner et al., 2007).


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April J; Mayden RL; Hanner RH; Bernatchez L, 2011. Genetic calibration of species diversity among North America's freshwater fishes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(26):10602-10607.

Azadikhah D; Masoumian M; Motallebi AA; Malek M; Nekuifard A; Jalali B, 2009. Survey of parasitic infection of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) in Aras Reservoir (west Azerbaijan). In: 1st International Congress on Aquatic Animal Health Management and Diseases, January 27-28 2009, Tehran, Iran.

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Links to Websites

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Brian W. Coad website
FAO Sander lucioperca
Freshwater Fishes of Iran
ISSG database global Invasive Species Database)
IUCN Red List
Non-native species in Great Britain


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07/12/11 Original text by:

Michael Godard, CEFAS, Salmon and Freshwater Team, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0HT, UK

Gordon Copp, CEFAS, Salmon and Freshwater Team, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0HT, UK

Reviewers' names are available on request.

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