The stone loach, a river dweller and mainly night feeder, is a small, slender bottom-dwelling fish with a maximum length of roughly 14 cm (6 in).
With eyes located high on its head, it has three pairs of short barbels under its underslung mouth.
With an almost cylindrical body, it has a rounded dorsal and caudal fins with slightly notched tips.
It is yellowish-brown with blotches and vertical bands of darker colour. The fins are brownish with faint dark banding.
It has an unusual and almost hidden dark line running from the snout to the eye.
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An alien fish originally introduced into the Fenland Drains of East Anglia in the early 1960’s.
They are now found throughout East Anglia and the Midlands in the river Trent, river Severn and Warwickshire Avon and Woburn and Old Bury Hill Lakes and the Gloucester Canals.
None in Scotland, Wales or Ireland.
They have similar features to the pike with their elongated body and the head of a perch with their spiny dorsal fin and small glassy eyes.
With a grey or brown coloured back with black dappling occurring in vague stripes similar to those of the perch but are clearer on young fish. Sometimes the stripes completely disappear in mature fish.
The Zander has two dorsal fins, the first is spiny with about 14 hard rays and black spots over a pale greyish yellow background, and the second is soft.
These spines and others on the gill cover and anal fin mean that the fish must be handled very carefully.
Again like the Perch and Pike use a damp cloth moved down from the head to close the dorsal fins and make them safe.
The tail is speckled grey with a white lower lobe.
The sides of young Zander are silvery, while an older Zander has greenish yellow sides, The underside and lower fins are generally white although a hint of blue is sometimes noticeable.
The mouth is large with prominent backward pointing teeth. Pairs of fang like teeth found on the front of the lower and upper jaws fitting into hollows in the opposite side of the jaw.
These are used to inflict a fatal wound and then to hold their prey.
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