PERCA, the perch, in natural history, a genus of fishes of the order Thoracici. Generic character : jaws unequal teeth sharp and incurvatecl ; gill coversof three lamina, scaly and serrated; dorsal fin spiny on the fore part ; scales generally hard and rough. There are sixty species, of which the following is most deserving of notice. , P. fluviatilis, or the common perch of England, is generally from one to two feet long, and two pounds and a half in weight, and inhabits the clear fresh wa ters of almost every country in Europe, sometimes attaining the weight of ten pounds. It is gregarious, haunts those parts where the stream is gentle and pro found, is extremely rapacious, catches with avidity at almost any bait, and tena cious of vitality to an extraordinary degree, surviving a journey of fifty miles, though packed up in dry straw. It is highly va lued both for its firmness and flavour, and among the Romans was held in very su perior estimation.
P. striatus. Pale brown or whitish, with about eight lines running parallel .with
each other, on the sides. This is the fish known by the name of "Rock fish," and in some districts by that of " Basse." It is brought to our markets in great num bers during the winter, and is in high es timation as food. Doctor Mitchell is per haps the first describer of the " Rock ;" under the specific name which we have here adopted ; he has subsequently thought proper to reject this appellation, and has substituted his own name, .n11; chili. But as he gives us no reason what ever for an alteration of so much impor tance, we cannot concur in adopting it. We do not know of any fish belonging to the genus as it now stands, to v; hick the same name has been applied : the P. stria tus of Loin. is not a true Perca according to the late arrangements, and theretbre cannot be taken into consideration in this case by any one who adopts these ar rangements.