Most species in this group occur in North America. Some percid species extend throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and the family Moronidae contains members that naturally occur in Europe and northern Africa. In addition to the native populations of the four families, numerous species, particularly among the centrarchids and percids, have been purposely introduced as game and/or food fishes in new geographic areas nearly around the world. As a result, various centrarchid species are now found in lakes and ponds throughout temperate Europe, Japan, and southern Africa and Australia.

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