Pygmy perch are egg layers. They produce eggs singly, laying twelve to fifteen over a period of up to three hours.
During the breeding season (July to November) both sexes become notably more colorful. Most of the male’s fins (except for the pectoral) become black, and its sides have an orange tinge on the lower and upper body. The upper portions of the female’s sides become bluish.
The eggs measure around 1.2 mm and are slightly adhesive, which allows them to cling to submerged plants, rocks or debris. Spawning usually occurs in the latter part of the morning.
Hatching occurs after around three days from laying. The 3mm larvae look quite different from juveniles of the species and have no mouth for several days, but are recognizably perch-like after around twenty-seven to thirty days.
Western Pygmy Perch Larvum
They are considered safe with tadpoles and so are used in frog ponds to control mosquito larvae.