Theses and Dissertations

Title: The biology of the round flier, Centrarchus macropterus (Lacepede)

Name: Dickson, Fred James

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. John S. Dendy

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1949

Pages: 65

Keywords: Farm ponds,Flier,Round flier,Centrarchus macropterus,Reproduction,Growth,Food habits.


The round flier was studied to determine whether this species is suitable for use in farm fish ponds in the southeastern part of the United States. Studies of the species included observations on various phases of the reproductive process, rates of growth, sex ratios, age determinations, stomach analysis, and a two-year test of this species as a pond fish in combination with largemouth black bass in a fertilized pond. The round flier spawned only once a year: the eggs required nine to ten months for development within the ovaries. The right ovary was smaller than the left in all cases. Egg counts and size of eggs were made from the ovaries of 40 females. The number of eggs per fish varied from 1,900 to 37,500 and the average size of the eggs was 0.434 millimeters in diameter. Eggs in a nest were heavy and adhesive and were golden yellow in color. The nests were located in groups where the water was from one to four feet deep. Nest building began when water temperature, at the depth of the nests, was 57 degrees Fahrenheit and actual spawning at 62 degrees Fahrenheit. More than one female spawned in the same nest. The application of fertilizer to the pond water over the spawning beds during the time of spawning caused a high mortality of eggs. Males could be differentiated from females because the former have darker breasts. Orange and black color markings were on the dorsal fin of fish from three to ten and one-half centimeters in length but were absent on fish of greater lengths. Round fliers were very difficult to catch by hook and line fishing. The food consumed was immature forms of chironomids, dragon fly, caddice fly, and mayfly. The annulus formation occurred during the month of May. At the end of two years a combination of largemouth black bass and round fliers gave a production of 429.5 pounds of fish per acre, of which 253 pounds were round fliers. The length-weight relationship and the coefficient of condition indicated the species grew well in fertilized ponds.

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