Flier (fish)

Flier (fish)

The flier (Centrarchus macropterus) is a sunfish (family Centrarchidae) native to muddy-bottomed swamps, ponds, weedy lakes, and riverine backwaters across the American South, from southern Illinois east to the Potomac River basin and south to Texas.

The flier, which can live up to five years, grows to a maximum recorded length of about 30 cm (one foot). The maximum recorded weight of the species is just over one-half kilogramme (about 19 oz).

Fliers are occasionally kept in aquaria by North American native-fish fanciers.

C. macropterus is currently the only species of genus Centrarchus Cuvier, 1829, but Lacépède had originally assigned it to Labrus (now confined to some marine wrasses). The generic name, Centrarchus, derives from the Greek κέντρον (centre, in this sense "sting") and άρχος (ruler, in this sense "anus"), in reference, presumably, to the sharp spines on the anal fin. Centrarchus being the type genus of family Centrarchidae, it gives its name to the whole sunfish family. The specific name, macropterus, derives from μακρόν πτερόν (long fin).

A Gato-class submarine, USS Flier, built in 1943, was named for this species. In addition, the newsletter of the Native Fish Conservancy is entitled Flier.

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