- Aquatic Biomes
- lakes and ponds
- rivers and streams
Centrarchidae family, is brightly colored. In comparison to the other members it has a wider body (more cigar shaped) and a much larger mouth. They do not grow large enough to be considered desirable “pan-fish,” because their average length is only 12.7 to 15.24 centimeters. This is sometimes due to overpopulation, which can stunt growth. is blue-green in color with scattered dots of black and a white to yellow belly. They have a dark spot on the soft spinous portion of the dorsal fin, and sometimes a spot on the posterior portion of their anal fin. Females have dusky colored bars on the dorsolateral portion of their body. Immature individuals lack striking color patterns, and instead are plain gray without bands. Breeding males normally have an orange tint to the anal, caudal, pelvic, and posterior dorsal fins and vivid black, orange, and white color on their anal fin. has palatine teeth and 28 to 29 vertebrae. Entier and Starnes (2001) state that typically has “anal fin soft rays 9 to 10 (8 to 11). Pectoral fin rays 13 to 15. Gill rakers 11 to 14.” ("AWAKE Plants and Wildlife", 2003; Etnier and Starnes, 2001), like the other members of the
- Sexual Dimorphism
- male more colorful
- Range mass
- .97 (high) kg
- 2.14 (high) lb
- Range length
- 30.48 (high) cm
- 12.00 (high) in
- Average length
- 12.7-15.24 cm
- Mating System
- polygynandrous (promiscuous)
Spawning occurs in Lepomis macrochirus, which is roughly 50,000. It takes normally 1 to 2 days for the eggs to hatch and another 5 to 7 days of protection from the male until they become independent (Parr, 2002).when the water rises above 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). It is thought that may produce the same number of eggs as
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Green sunfish can spawn up to every 8 to 10 days during spawning season.
- Breeding season
- Spawning occurs from May to August.
- Range number of offspring
- 50,000 (high)
- Average time to hatching
- 2 days
- Range time to independence
- 5 to 7 days
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 3 years
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 3 years
- Parental Investment
- Typical lifespan
- 4 to 6 years
- Typical lifespan
- Average lifespan
- 7.5 years
- Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
- Average lifespan
Communication and Perception
Because (Etnier and Starnes, 2001)males lack dusky bars, it could be suggested that the bright and bold colors are means to attract females through visual cues. Males also produce sounds during mating.
Green sunfish are dietary generalists. Green sunfish larvae consume various types of zooplankton and, as they grow, they expand their diets to include insect larvae and small snails. As juveniles and adults their diets expand to add small crayfish, fish eggs, insects, and small fish. It should be noted that, as competition decreases, their average prey size increases. ("AWAKE Plants and Wildlife", 2003; Etnier and Starnes, 2001; Paulson and Hatch, 2004)
- Animal Foods
- terrestrial worms
- aquatic crustaceans
Green sunfish, like other members of the family Centrarchidae, have young with a less colorful appearance; they are camouflaged to blend in with vegetation (Entier and Starnes, 2001). Their most common aquatic predators are largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) ; channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) ; flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris); and bullhead catfish (Ameiurus) (Paulson and Hatch, 2004; Chizinski and Pope, 2003). (Chizinski and Pope, 2003; Paulson and Hatch, 2004)
- Anti-predator Adaptations
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
is not listed endangered or threatened either nationally or internationally. They are common and abundant throughout their range.
Hybridization, which is reproduction between two different species, is very common in Lepomis macrochirus) and longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis) are common species that crossbreeds with. Lepomis megalotis and hybrids are commonly known as “hybrid bluegills”. (Entier and Starnes, 2001; www.Kentuckyawake.org) ("AWAKE Plants and Wildlife", 2003; Etnier and Starnes, 2001). Hybrids tend to be mostly males and grow faster than either of the parent species. Bluegill (
ETYMOLOGY: “Lepomis” means scaled operculum and “cyanellus” means blue. (Etnier and Starnes, 2001)
Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Emily Clemons (author), Eastern Kentucky University, Sherry Harrel (editor, instructor), Eastern Kentucky University.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
Referring to an animal that lives on or near the bottom of a body of water. Also an aquatic biome consisting of the ocean bottom below the pelagic and coastal zones. Bottom habitats in the very deepest oceans (below 9000 m) are sometimes referred to as the abyssal zone. see also oceanic vent.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
- external fertilization
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
uses sight to communicate
animal constituent of plankton; mainly small crustaceans and fish larvae. (Compare to phytoplankton.)
2003. "AWAKE Plants and Wildlife" (On-line). Accessed October 27, 2005 at http://www.kentuckyawake.org/templates/plantsWildlife/lifehistory.cfm?instanceID=18954.
Chizinski, C., K. Pope. 2003. Importance of food Ration and Water Temperature on Growth of Juvenile Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus). The Texas Journal of Science, 55/3: 263.
Etnier, D., W. Starnes. 2001. The Fishes of Tennessee. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press.
HAAG, W., M. WARREN, M. SHILLINGSFORDa. 1998. Host Fishes and Host-attracting Behavior of Lampsilis altilis and Villosa vibex. The American Midland Naturalist, 141/1: 149-157. Accessed October 29, 2005 at http://www.bioone.org.libproxy.eku.edu/bioone/?request=get-abstract&issn=0003-0031&volume=141&issue=01&page=0149.
Hammerson, G. 1993. "Lepomis cyanellus" (On-line). NatureServe Explorer. Accessed October 27, 2005 at https://ekumail.eku.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?searchName=Lepomis%2520cyanellus.
Page, L., . Burr. 7/2005. "Lepomis cyanellus, Green Sunfish" (On-line). FishBase. Accessed October 27, 2005 at http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=3371&genusname=Lepomis&speciesname=cyanellus.
Paulson, N., J. Hatch. 2004. "Minnesota Depatment of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program" (On-line). Accessed October 27, 2005 at https://ekumail.eku.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.gen.umn.edu/research/fish/fishes/green_sunfish.html%23reproduction.