Redbreast Sunfish

Redbreast Sunfish Gyotaku by Inked Animal

Redbreast Sunfish | Lepomis auritus

 

 


 

Redbreast Sunfish info via Wikipedia:

Redbreast sunfish
Lepomis auritus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. auritus
Binomial name
Lepomis auritus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (family Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. The type species of its genus, it is native to the river systems of eastern Canada and the United States. The redbreast sunfish reaches a maximum recorded length of about 30 cm (12 in), with a maximum recorded weight of 790 g (1.7 lb).

The species prefers vegetated and rocky pools and lake margins for its habitat. Its diet can include insects, snails, and other small invertebrates. A panfish popular with anglers, the redbreast sunfish is also kept as an aquarium fish by hobbyists. Redbreast sunfish are usually caught with live bait such as nightcrawlers, crickets, grasshoppers, waxworms, or mealworms. They can also be caught using small lures or flies. Most anglers use light spinning tackle to catch redbreast sunfish. It is popular with fly anglers in the winter because it will more readily strike a moving fly than will bluegills in cooler water.

As is typical for the sunfishes, the female redbreast sunfish lays her eggs (about 1000) in a substrate depression built by the male. The male guards the eggs and fry.

L. auritus has been transplanted to and become established in Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, sometimes with a harmful effect on native species.

The specific epithet, auritus, is Latin for big-eared.

Typical redbreast sunfish from the Tallapoosa River, Alabama (released)

Description

Redbreasted Sunfish - Lepomis auritus from Maryland
Redbreast Sunfish Caught on 1/8oz Rooster Tail in Georgia

The species native range is condensed to eastern North America, in Canada and south to the rivers emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The species has been introduced as far west as Texas. This fish primarily feeds on small insect larva, small crayfish, and sometimes small fish. Lepomis auritus thrives in streams and rivers with shelter and structure, usually around banks with the water pH around 7.0-7.5. The redbreast sunfish is a spring spawner in sand-gravel substrate depending on location, or when water temperatures reach 16-26 °C. Average clutch size for the sunfish is around 2000 depending on the age of the female. The average length of the sunfish is around 11 cm with a record 30.5 cm. The record weight for the fish is 1.75 pounds. Rarely are limits set on the number of fish that can be harvested due to their large numbers and high reproductive capabilities. If a particular area is subject to overfishing or habitat destruction, managements plans should be put into effect to preserve the population.

Distribution

The redbreasted sunfish tends to be more of a cool-river species, but also inhabits freshwater lakes and streams. The species has been introduced as far west as Louisiana and West Texas. Native range of the sunfish is a relatively large area with the species new introduction points not straying far from its native habitats.

Ecology

Redbreast sunfish mainly consume immature aquatic insects. Mayflies, small fish, and dragonfly larvae consist of the majority of the sunfish’s diet based on stomach content. Being an opportunistic feeder, the fish competes with other sunfish and larger predatory fish that prey on the same food they do. Larger piscivorous fish are the main predators of smaller redbreast sunfish. Micropterus species are a major threat to sunfish because of the shared habitat and the large availability of the sunfish. The sunfish prefers structure around banks and overhanging branches that provide shade to provide food and protection. Lepomis auritus survives best in water with current and a pH between 7.0 and 7.5. Lack of current or too acidic or basic water can dramatically affect the sunfish’s survival rate. Human influence on abiotic and biotic factors such as sunlight and predator numbers can have a major influence on sunfish. Factors such as clearing debris bank cover can increase amount of sunlight into the water and increase water temperature and decrease defense habitats, also decreasing the number of predators by eating larger predatory fish will increase the survival rate of the redbreast sunfish.

Life history

The redbreast sunfish is a fall spawner on sand-gravel substrate depending on location, or when water temperature reaches 16-26 °C. According to Stanley Sharp, “The mature male generally builds a nest in shallow water or may simply use the abandoned nest of another Centrarchid. The female eventually enters the nest, releases her adhesive eggs, and then leaves. The male remains to guard and fan the eggs and possibly even to guard the young for a brief period. The male and female will then move out of the shallow water after spawning and into deeper water. A male sunfish will breed with more than one female, just as female sunfish will breed with more than one male. Average clutch size for the sunfish is around 2000 depending on the age of the female. Mature ova are around 1.1 mm in diameter. Reproductive maturity is reached the second year of life. They have been known to have a maximum lifespan of around seven years for primarily males. Currently, humans do not play a large role in influencing life history due to large populations and secluded areas.

Management

Currently, the redbreast sunfish is not on the federal or state endangered or threatened species list. The species is thriving in its natural habitat. They are not currently under any conservation easements because of their excellent success rate.

References

  • FishBase: Lepomis auritus
  • ITIS: Lepomis auritus
  • Ellis, Jack (1993). The Sunfishes-A Fly Fishing Journey of Discovery. Bennington, VT: Abenaki Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-936644-17-6. 
  • Rice, F. Philip (1964). America's Favorite Fishing-A Complete Guide to Angling for Panfish. New York: Harper Row. 
  • Rice, F. Philip (1984). Panfishing. New York: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-943822-25-4. 
  • Malo, John (1981). Fly-Fishing for Panfish. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Dillon Press Inc. ISBN 0-87518-208-9. 
  • Cooke, Steven, and David P. Philipp. Centrarchid Fishes: Diversity, Biology, and Conservation. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Print.
  • Dewoody, Andrew, Dean Fletcher, and David Wilkins. "Molecular Genetic Dissection of Spawning, Parentage, and Reproductive Tactics in a Population of Redbreast Sunfish, Lepomis Auritus." Evolution 52.6 (1998): 1802-810. Print.
  • Nadig, Susan G. Evaluating Potential Alteration of Genetic Diversity in Populations of Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis Auritus) Using RAPD ASSAY. Thesis. The University of Tennessee Knoxville, 1996. Print.
  • Sharp, Stanley K. Serum Levels of 17B-Estradiol and Testosterone as Indicators of Environmental Stress in Redbreast Sunfish, Lepomis Auritus. Thesis. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1994. Print.
  • Shepard, Kenneth L. Use of Standard Metabolic Rate as an Indicator of Environmental Stress in Redbreast Sunfish, Lepomis Auritus. Thesis. The University of Tennessee Knoxville, 1988. Print.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redbreast_sunfish

 

Redear Sunfish 2

 

Redear Sunfish | Lepomis microlophus


 


 

Redear Sunfish info via Wikipedia:

Redear sunfish
Temporal range: Middle Miocene to Recent
Redearsunfishnctc.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. microlophus
Binomial name
Lepomis microlophus
(Günther, 1859)

The redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus, also known as the shellcracker, Georgia bream, cherry gill, chinquapin, improved bream, rouge ear sunfish and sun perch) is freshwater fish native to the southeastern United States. Since it is a popular sport fish, it has been introduced to bodies of water all over North America. It is known for its diet of mollusks and snails.

Large shellcracker before preparation for consumption

Description

Illustration of the redear sunfish, Lepomis microlophus

The redear sunfish generally resembles the bluegill except for coloration and somewhat larger size. The redear sunfish also has faint vertical bars traveling downwards from its dorsal.[2] It is dark-colored dorsally and yellow-green ventrally. The male has a cherry-red edge on its operculum; females have orange coloration in this area. The adult fish are between 20 and 24 cm (7.9 and 9.4 in) in length. Max length is 43.2 cm (17.0 in), compared to a maximum of about 40 cm (16 in) for the bluegill. Lepomis microlophus averages at a size of about 0.45 kg (0.99 lb), also larger than the average bluegill.

Habitat and range

Redear sunfish are native to North Carolina and Florida, west to south Illinois and south Missouri, and south to the Rio Grande drainage in Texas.[3] However, this fish has also been widely introduced to other locations in the United States outside of its native range. In the wild, the redear sunfish inhabits warm, quiet waters of lakes, ponds, streams, and reservoirs. They prefer to be near logs and vegetation, and tend to congregate in groups around these features. This sunfish is also located in many marsh wetlands of freshwater.

Diet

The favorite food of this species is snails. These fish meander along lakebeds, seeking and cracking open snails and other shelled creatures. Redears have thick pharyngeal teeth (hard, movable plates in its throat) which allow it to crunch exoskeletons. It is even capable of opening small clams. The specialization of this species for the deep-water, mollusk-feeding niche allows it to be introduced to lakes without the risk of competition with fish that prefer shallower water or surface-feeding. In recent years, the stocking of redear has found new allies due to the fish's ability to eat quagga mussels, a prominent invasive species in many freshwater drainages.[4]

Reproduction

Male guarding eggs

During spawning, males congregate and create nests close together in colonies, and females visit to lay eggs. The redear sometimes hybridizes with other sunfish species.

Fossil record

The redear sunfish is the first-known species of Centrarchidae based on fossil records, as old as 16.3 million years, dating back to the Middle Miocene[1].

References

  1. ^ NatureServe (2015). "Lepomis microlophus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 4.1 (4.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ Bosanko, David, and Dan Johnson. "Redear Sunfish." Fish of Michigan Field Guide. Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications, 2007. 148-49. Print.
  3. ^ Gilbert, Carter Rowell, and James D. Williams. "Redear Sunfish." National Audubon Society Field Guide to Fishes: North America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. 347. Print.
  4. ^ Tavares, Stephanie (2009-11-09). "Popular sport fish could solve Lake Mead's clam infestation". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Lepomis microlophus" in FishBase. November 2005 version.
  • Ellis, Jack (1993). The Sunfishes-A Fly Fishing Journey of Discovery. Bennington, VT: Abenaki Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-936644-17-6. 
  • Rice, F. Philip (1964). America's Favorite Fishing-A Complete Guide to Angling for Panfish. New York: Harper Row. 
  • Rice, F. Philip (1984). Panfishing. New York: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-943822-25-4. 

External links

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepomis_microlophus

 

Green Sunfish 2

Green Sunfish Gyotaku by Inked Animal

Green Sunfish | Lepomis Cyanellus

 

 


 

 Green Sunfish info via Wikipedia:

Green sunfish
Lepomis cyanellis.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. cyanellus
Binomial name
Lepomis cyanellus
Rafinesque, 1819

The green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. A panfish popular with anglers, the green sunfish is also kept as an aquarium fish by hobbyists. They are usually caught by accident, while fishing for other game fish. Green sunfish can be caught with live bait such as nightcrawlers, waxworms, and mealworms. Grocery store baits such as pieces of hot dog or corn kernels can even catch fish. Small lures have been known to occasionally catch green sunfish. They can be caught with fly fishing tackle.

The green sunfish is said to have polarization sensitive vision not found in humans and other vertebrates mostly which helps in enhancement of visibility of target objects in scattering media, using a method called polarization difference imaging. The green Sunfish is considered an invasive species in the state of Florida and New Jersey. In New Jersey anglers must destroy them, and not release them.[2] They are illegal to possess without a valid permit on research or exhibition by a public agency such as an aquarium or research facility.

Geographic distribution

The green sunfish is native to a wide area of North America east of the Rocky Mountains, from the Hudson Bay basin in Canada, to the Gulf Coast in the United States, and northern Mexico. They are specifically indigenous to a number of lakes and rivers such as the Great Lakes and some of the basins of the Mississippi River. Green sunfish have been introduced to many bodies of water all across the United States, so are frequently encountered.[3]L. cyanellus has been transplanted to many countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe, where it has become established in some.

A juvenile

Description

The green sunfish is blue-green in color on its back and sides with yellow-flecked bony-ridged (ctenoid) scales, as well as yellow coloration on the ventral sides. They also have a dark spot located near the back end of the dorsal fin, the bases of the anal fins.[4] and on the ear plate. It has a relatively big mouth and long snout that extends to beneath the middle of the eye.[5] Its pectoral fins are short with rounded edges containing 13-14 pectoral fin rays, a dorsal fin with about 10 dorsal spines and a homocercal tail. The typical length ranges from about 3-7 in and usually weighs less than a pound. The green sunfish reaches a maximum recorded length of about 30 cm (12 in), with a maximum recorded weight of 960 g (2.2 lb). Identification of sunfish species from one another can sometimes be difficult as these species frequently hybridize.[6]

Habitat

The species prefers vegetated areas in sluggish backwaters, lakes, and ponds with gravel, sand, or bedrock bottoms. They also can be found in very muddy waters and are able to tolerate poor water conditions. Green sunfish tend to spend their time hiding around rocks, submerged logs, and other objects that provide cover and protection.

Diet

Its diet can include aquatic insects and larvae, insects that fall into the water, crayfish, snails, turtle food, some small fish, zooplankton, and other small invertebrates.

Reproduction

Adult

Green sunfish begin spawning in the summer with the exact time varying with location and water temperature. When they do spawn, the males create nests in shallow water by clearing depressions in the bottom,[7] often near a type of shelter such as rocks or submerged logs.[8] The male defends his nest from other males using visual displays and physical force when necessary.[9] On occasion, simply constructing a nest is sufficient for the male to attract a mate, but when it is not he will court a female with grunts and lead her to his nest.

They continue their courtship dance, swimming with each other around the nest until the female descends to deposit her eggs in the nest. The female will lay 2,000 to 26,000 eggs and leave them for the male to guard. He keeps watch over them until they hatch in three to five days, while protecting them and fanning them with his fins, keeping them clean and providing them with oxygenated water. When they hatch, the fry remain near the nest for a few days, then leave to feed and fend for themselves.[8] After the eggs have hatched, the male will often seek to attract another female to lay her eggs in his nest.

Green sunfish tend to nest in areas close to other green sunfish, as well as other species of sunfish. Due to the close proximity of multiple nests, a green sunfish female may deposit some of her eggs into the nest of a male of a different species. This in turn leads to the next generation containing some amount of hybrids.[8] These green sunfish hybrids will often look like a combination of their parents, often making it difficult to distinguish one species from another.[10]

Etymology

The generic name Lepomis derives from the Greek λεπίς (scale) and πώμα (cover, plug, operculum). The specific epithet, cyanellus, derives from the Greek κυανός (blue).

References

  1. ^ NatureServe (2013). "Lepomis cyanellus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife - Aquatic Invasive Species". www.state.nj.us. Retrieved 2016-05-22. 
  3. ^ (Page et al. 1991, p. 267).
  4. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 208; Page et al. 1991, p. 267)
  5. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 208; Page et al. 1991, p. 267).
  6. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 208-209).
  7. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 209)
  8. ^ a b c (Paulson 2004).
  9. ^ (Paulson 2004)
  10. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 209).
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepomis_cyanellus

 

Redear Sunfish 1

Redear Sunfish Gyotaku by Inked Animal

Readear Sunfish | Lepomis microlophus

 

 


 

Redear Sunfish info via Wikipedia:

Redear sunfish
Temporal range: Middle Miocene to Recent
Redearsunfishnctc.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. microlophus
Binomial name
Lepomis microlophus
(Günther, 1859)

The redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus, also known as the shellcracker, Georgia bream, cherry gill, chinquapin, improved bream, rouge ear sunfish and sun perch) is freshwater fish native to the southeastern United States. Since it is a popular sport fish, it has been introduced to bodies of water all over North America. It is known for its diet of mollusks and snails.

Large shellcracker before preparation for consumption

Description

Illustration of the redear sunfish, Lepomis microlophus

The redear sunfish generally resembles the bluegill except for coloration and somewhat larger size. The redear sunfish also has faint vertical bars traveling downwards from its dorsal.[2] It is dark-colored dorsally and yellow-green ventrally. The male has a cherry-red edge on its operculum; females have orange coloration in this area. The adult fish are between 20 and 24 cm (7.9 and 9.4 in) in length. Max length is 43.2 cm (17.0 in), compared to a maximum of about 40 cm (16 in) for the bluegill. Lepomis microlophus averages at a size of about 0.45 kg (0.99 lb), also larger than the average bluegill.

Habitat and range

Redear sunfish are native to North Carolina and Florida, west to south Illinois and south Missouri, and south to the Rio Grande drainage in Texas.[3] However, this fish has also been widely introduced to other locations in the United States outside of its native range. In the wild, the redear sunfish inhabits warm, quiet waters of lakes, ponds, streams, and reservoirs. They prefer to be near logs and vegetation, and tend to congregate in groups around these features. This sunfish is also located in many marsh wetlands of freshwater.

Diet

The favorite food of this species is snails. These fish meander along lakebeds, seeking and cracking open snails and other shelled creatures. Redears have thick pharyngeal teeth (hard, movable plates in its throat) which allow it to crunch exoskeletons. It is even capable of opening small clams. The specialization of this species for the deep-water, mollusk-feeding niche allows it to be introduced to lakes without the risk of competition with fish that prefer shallower water or surface-feeding. In recent years, the stocking of redear has found new allies due to the fish's ability to eat quagga mussels, a prominent invasive species in many freshwater drainages.[4]

Reproduction

Male guarding eggs

During spawning, males congregate and create nests close together in colonies, and females visit to lay eggs. The redear sometimes hybridizes with other sunfish species.

Fossil record

The redear sunfish is the first-known species of Centrarchidae based on fossil records, as old as 16.3 million years, dating back to the Middle Miocene[1].

References

  1. ^ NatureServe (2015). "Lepomis microlophus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 4.1 (4.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ Bosanko, David, and Dan Johnson. "Redear Sunfish." Fish of Michigan Field Guide. Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications, 2007. 148-49. Print.
  3. ^ Gilbert, Carter Rowell, and James D. Williams. "Redear Sunfish." National Audubon Society Field Guide to Fishes: North America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. 347. Print.
  4. ^ Tavares, Stephanie (2009-11-09). "Popular sport fish could solve Lake Mead's clam infestation". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Lepomis microlophus" in FishBase. November 2005 version.
  • Ellis, Jack (1993). The Sunfishes-A Fly Fishing Journey of Discovery. Bennington, VT: Abenaki Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-936644-17-6. 
  • Rice, F. Philip (1964). America's Favorite Fishing-A Complete Guide to Angling for Panfish. New York: Harper Row. 
  • Rice, F. Philip (1984). Panfishing. New York: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-943822-25-4. 

External links

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redear_Sunfish

 

 

Dollar Sunfish

Dollar Sunfish | Lepomis marginatus


 

Dollar Sunfish info via Wikipedia:

Dollar sunfish
Lepomis marginatus UMFS 2014 1.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. marginatus
Binomial name
Lepomis marginatus
(Holbrook, 1855)

The dollar sunfish (Lepomis marginatus) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (family Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. It is categorized as a warm water pan-fish. Early settlers said that this species of sunfish resembled a European species they called bream. Historically it has been found along the Southern Atlantic coastal drainages from North Carolina to Florida, and west to Texas.[2] Lepomis marginatus mainly feeds on detritus and filamentous algae as well as a few terrestrial insects (Homoptera, Hymenoptera, Etnier, and Starnes). The juvenile and mature fish do not have many predators, but the eggs in the nest are in danger of predation from a few different species of fish.

The dollar sunfish can have different breeding seasons depending on where it is located geographically. On average the dollar sunfish breeds from April to September, and in some states such as North Carolina, it breeds from May to August. They always finish breeding before the weather turns cold. These fish breed mainly on sandy substrates. "Bourgeois" males build and tend nests, court females, and care for eggs and young.[3] The average lifespan is around 6 years, and it can grow up to a maximum of 100 mm.

Currently there are very well managed creel limits for the sunfish species. The creel limits help to protect the species from being over harvested. Other species of sunfish have been stocked in Tennessee lakes, however the dollar sunfish has yet to be stocked in any of the river drainages of Tennessee. As effective as the creel limits are, there could be more management done for the dollar sunfish, or at least some research.

Impoundments of rivers by dams is widespread and one of the most devastating anthropogenic impacts of freshwater environments [4]

Geographic distribution

Historically, the dollar sunfish has been found along Southern Atlantic coastal drainages from North Carolina to Florida, and extending west to Texas. The species is most common in the southeastern United States, becoming increasingly uncommon in the western part of its range [5][6] Its Current range in North America is the Tar river in North Carolina to Brazos river in Texas in the USA; Former Mississippi Embayment in the USA from western Kentucky and eastern Arkansas south to Gulf of Mexico.[7] There have been a few records of the dollar sunfish in the Tennessee and Mississippi river drainage. However, due to its great similarity in appearance to younger specimens of the longear sunfish, L. megalotis, the distribution of L. marginatus has not been well understood in certain portions of its range.[8]

Ecology

The dollar sunfish has a fairly specific diet. Due to its small gape size it cannot open its mouth large enough to eat many of the smaller larvae fish swimming in its habitat. Instead its diet consists of much smaller living organisms. McLane listed midge larvae and microcrustaceans as the major food items for dollar sunfish. Stomachs of specimens from Tennessee contained much detritus and filamentous algae and a few terrestrial insects (Homoptera, Hymenoptera), probably indicating both benthic- and surface-oriented feeding behavior.[8] This means that the dolar sunfish feeds on living organisms both in the water and on top of the water. They seem to focus more on the easier attainable prey, which means they don't expend a lot of energy for feeding. The juveniles and adults do not have many predators other than humans. However the eggs and larvae are at risk of predation from larger fish such as largemouth bass, other sunfish, and some invertebrates. The only real competitor the dollar sunfish might have is another species of sunfish. This is highly unlikely though because the different species of sunfish usually occupy different habitats and zones. The micro-distribution of the dollar sunfish is characterized by a pH of 7 - 7.8, and a temperature of 16 - 28 degrees celsius (61 - 82 degrees Fahrenheit)[9] They are often found in slow moving, small to large streams, floodplain pools, and oxbow lakes, ponds, and vegetated areas of large reservoirs. More specifically they are usually found over substrates of sand or clay overlain with silt and organic debris, and are often associated with submerged aquatic vegetation, hydrophytes, and overhanging vegetation along undercut banks.

Life history

The spawning season of the dollar sunfish occurs in the spring, from April - October at water temperatures of 16.8 - 25.6 degrees Celsius; peak spawning activity during late spring and summer.[10] Their nests are solitary, usually adjacent to logs or some other structure; nests range from 30 – 94 cm in diameter, are 15 – 20 cm deep at center, and are usually constructed over sand.[11] Usually the males will make the nest on a hard sand substrate. Femals produce an average of 3302 eggs, with a range of 322 - 9206, depending on their body size.[12] Individuals in Carolina are mature at age two and have a life span of six years.[13] There are not many human induced factors influencing the life history of the dollar sunfish. However as dams were built across the Tennessee and Mississippi river valley the populations seemed to decrease. The dams took away their natural habitat, but the dollar sunfish have adapted and can now be found in some reservoirs in West Tennessee and Florida.

Management

Laws and regulations exist to protect dollar sunfish populations. Most states enforce a creel limit, which is a limit on the maximum number of fish that a single person can catch in one day. However there is no creel limit or size limit for the nongame pan fish in the state of Tennessee.[14] Florida has a specific creel limit for panfish of twenty fish per angler per day, and the panfish must be a minimum of eight inches.

The dollar sunfish is not federally or state listed as threatened or endangered. However it is rare to find dollar sunfish in its western range; the abundance has decreased a lot over the past twenty years. There is no true explanation for the decline in abundance, but some fish managers hypothesize that habitat destruction is the leading cause. In the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, there is a large problem with habitat destruction. Hurricanes can destroy the vegetation and cover where the dollar sunfish lives. There are no true biological causes of decline of the dollar sunfish species. They are very small, and not a true target of anglers, so it is unlikely that they are overfished. An issue in the lakes with more plankton is the clarity of the water; dumping trash and stirring up the clay and silt with boats reduces the plankton populations. The water becomes too dark and no sunlight can get through to help the plankton grow, thus the dollar sunfish food supply decreases. Humans can help to protect the habitat of the dollar sunfish by managing the aquatic vegetation in the rivers and reservoirs. Also there should be larger fines for dumping trash into the rivers and lakes. However, the state conservation or resource agencies, such as TWRA, are the only groups currently working to protect this species. There are also some areas set aside in the Mississippi and Ohio Valley Plains to help conserve the populations.[15]

References

  1. ^ NatureServe (2015). "Lepomis marginatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 4.1 (4.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ Hubbs, C., R.J. Edwards, and G. P. Garrett. 1991. An Annotated Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of Texas with keys to Identification of Species. The Texas Journal of Science 43(4):1-56.
  3. ^ Breder CM. (1936) The Reproductive habits of North American Sunfishes (family Centrarchidae). Zoologica,21,1-47.
  4. ^ Rypel, A. L. (2011), "River impoundment and sunfish growth." River Res. Applic., 27:580-590. doi: 10.1002/rra. 1370.
  5. ^ Robinson, H.W., and T.M. Buchanan. 1988. Fishes of Arkansas. The university of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville Arkansas.
  6. ^ Loftus, W.F., and J.A. Kushlan. 1987. Freshwater Fishes of Southern Florida Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences 31(4):1-344.
  7. ^ Froese, Rainer. "Lepomis marginatus". fishbase.us. 
  8. ^ a b Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee, University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 681pp.
  9. ^ Lundie, Adam. "Lepomis marginatus". FishProfiles.com. FishProfiles. 
  10. ^ Davis, J.R. 1972. The Spawning Behavior, Fecundity Rates and Food Habits of the Redbreast Sunfish in Southeastern North Carolina. Proc. Ann. Meet., Southeastern Assoc. Game Fish Comm. 25:566-60.
  11. ^ Davis, J.R. 1972. The Spawning Behavior, Fecundity Rates and Food Habits of the Redbreast Sunfish in southeastern North Carolina. Proc. Ann. Meet., Southeastern Assoc. Game Fish Comm. 25:566-60.
  12. ^ Sandow, Jr, J.T., D.R. Holder, and L.E. Moswain. 1975. Life History of the Redbreast sunfish in the Satilla River, Georgia. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference Southeaster Association of Game and Fish COmmissioners. 28(1974):279-295.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  14. ^ http://www.eregulations.com/tennessee/fishing/statewide-limits-and-regulations/
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepomis_marginatus

 

 

Warmouth

Warmouth | Lepomis gulosus

 


 

Warmouth info via Wikipedia:

Not to be confused with Wrymouth.
Warmouth
Chaenobryttus gulosus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. gulosus
Binomial name
Lepomis gulosus
(G. Cuvier, 1829)
Synonyms
  • Chaenobryttus gulosus

The warmouth, warmouth sunfish, or warmouth bass, (Lepomis gulosus), is a large sunfish found throughout the eastern United States. Other local names include molly, redeye, goggle-eye, red-eyed bream, stump knocker, and strawberry perch. Despite a passing, superficial similarity in appearance, the warmouth should not be confused with its distant relative the rock bass.

Description

a juvenile specimen of Lepomis gulosus from Kickapoo State Park, east-central Illinois

The adult warmouth is dark, with a mottled brown coloration. Its belly is generally golden, and the male has a bright-orange spot at the base of the dorsal fin. Three to five reddish-brown streaks radiate from the eyes, and the gill flaps are often red. It has three spines in the anal fin, 10 spines in the dorsal fin, and small teeth are present on the tongue. These fish range in size from 4 to 10 inches (10.2 to 25 cm), but can grow to over 12 inches (31 cm) in length, and weigh up to 2.25 pounds (1 kg). The warmouth is occasionally confused with the rock bass or green sunfish, both of which share its relatively large mouth and heavy body. However, the green sunfish generally has a greenish-blue variegated pattern on its gill flaps, a black spot near the base of the dorsal fin, and its fins are bordered in yellowish-white. The rock bass has 5-7 spines in its anal fin as opposed to the three in the warmouth. The warmouth tends to be a bit larger in size than either of the other two species.

Distribution

Warmouth are found throughout much of the south in the Mississippi River drainage, from the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and northward to the Chesapeake Bay, and westward throughout Texas to the Rio Grande, and northward into the Great Lakes basin area.[2][3] The warmouth is a highly aggressive and hardy fish, and they can live in ponds, lakes, rivers, and backwater streams and can often survive in streams with low oxygen levels where other species of sunfish cannot. The species exists with breeding populations in southern portions of Canada, and likely has existed there for many years prior to being detected.[4]

Ecology

The primary diet of the warmouth consists of insects, crayfish, and other fish.[2] They are sight feeders, and can survive in polluted, low-oxygenated waters where other sunfish cannot, like rock bass. The largest factor affecting warmouth density and biomass in Florida’s lakes is the availability of aquatic macrophytes, which allows the fish to ambush prey and use as areas to spawn.[5] The primary diet of young warmouth is microcrustaceans and aquatic insect lava, whereas larger specimens tend to mainly consume crayfish, freshwater shrimp, and other small fish.[6][7] Their predators include larger fish, snakes, turtles, alligators, and birds. The primary habitats the warmouth occupies are areas with ample vegetation as cover with slower-moving water, often around stumps, brush piles, and other dense entanglements that allow the warmouth the ability to ambush prey, yet escape larger predators that may threaten them.[2]

Life history

A warmouth in Mississippi

Spawning for the warmouth begins usually begins when water temperatures reach 21.1 °C.[8] Their spawning often begins in May and lasts until July. Nests are primarily constructed on rock or gravel substrates, usually located in or near to some type of structure in the water column. Unlike most other Lepomis species, the warmouth does not nest in a colony unless ideal nesting habitat is limited. When in breeding condition, the males' eyes turn red. After the female lays her eggs, the male fertilizes the eggs and aggressively defends the nest, eggs and fry from any intruder-including other females. Males are most commonly found defending the nest for up to five days later until the fry have hatched.[2] Young warmouth spend most of their time hiding under benthic substrate available to avoid predators. Most are considered sexually mature after one year, but often the size of a fish indicates its maturity rather than time.[2] Males usually grow faster than females. Different habitat conditions also reflect the lifespan of the warmouth, which varies from three to eight years.[9]

The warmouth is an extremely adaptable species that can survive in many different conditions, in many river systems east of the Rocky Mountains. Often, the warmouth prefers habitats where slower-moving and often polluted water. The most common cause of concern for the warmouth is hybridization with other Lepomis spp. that often inhabit the same areas as the warmouth. The species known to hybridize with it are L. cyanellus and L. macrochirus, as well as largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus.[10][11] This does not seem to affect the overall health or longevity of the species.

Since warmouths are not migratory fish, their populations should be relatively easily monitored throughout much of their existing ranges. According to Warren,[3] there is no threat or current concern for the warmouth.

References


  1. ^ NatureServe (2013). "Lepomis gulosus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Larimore, Kenneth D. 1957. Ecological Life History of the Warmouth Centrarchidae. Illinois Natural History Survey, Bulletin 27(1):1-83
  3. ^ a b Warren, L. W., Jr., B. M. Burr, S. J. Walsh, H. L. Bart, Jr., R. C. Cashner, D. A. Etnier, B. J. Freeman, B. R. Kuhajda, R. L. Mayden, H. W. Robison, S. T. Ross, and W. C. Starnes. 2000. Diversity, Distribution, and Conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries 25(10):7-29.
  4. ^ Crossman, EJ; Simpson, RC. 1984. Warmouth, Lepomis-gulosus, a fresh-water fish new to Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 98 (4): 496-498
  5. ^ Willis, D.J.; D.L. Watson; M.V. Hoyer; D.E. Canfield. 2009. Factors related to Warmouth Lepomis gulosus biomass and density in Florida lakes. Florida Scientist 72:3:218-226
  6. ^ Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.
  7. ^ Tumlison, Renn; Carroll, Christtian; Greenwood, Matt. 2007. Summer food habits of young grass pickerel Esox amercanious, warmouth Lepomis gulosus, and log perch Percino caprodes from a cove in Lake Ouachita, Garland County, Arkansas. Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science 61:134-136
  8. ^ Ross, S. T. 2001. The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson. 624 pp.
  9. ^ Gatz, A.J., Jr.; S.M. Adams. 1994. Patterns of movements of centrachids in two warm-water streams in eastern Tennessee. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 3:1:35-48
  10. ^ Merriner, J.V. 1971. Egg size as a factor in intergeneric hybrid success of centrarchids. Trans. Amer. Fish Soc. 100(1):29-32.
  11. ^ Lee, D. S. 1980. Lepomis gulosus (Cuvier),Warmouth. pp. 595 in D. S. Lee, et al. Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. N. C. State Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh, i-r+854 pp

Crossman, EJ; Simpson, RC. 1984. Warmouth, Lepomis-gulosus, a fresh-water fish new to Canada.Canadian Field-Naturalist. 98 (4): 496-498.

Crossman, EJ; Huston, J; Campbell, RR. 1996. The status or the Warmouth, Chaenbryttus gulosus, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 110 (3): 494-500.

Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Gatz, A.J., Jr.; S.M. Adams. 1994. Patterns of movements of centrachids in two warm water streams in eastern Tennessee. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 3:1:35-48.

Larimore, Kenneth D. 1957. Ecological Life History of the Warmouth Centrarchidae. Illinois Natural History Survey, Bulletin 27(1):1-83

Lee, D. S. 1980. Lepomis gulosus (Cuvier),Warmouth. pp. 595 in D. S. Lee, et al. Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. N. C. State Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh, i-r+854 pp

Merriner, J.V. 1971. Egg size as a factor in intergeneric hybrid success of centrarchids. Trans. Amer. Fish Soc. 100(1):29-32

Ross, S. T. 2001. The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson. 624 pp.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/war/

Tumlison, Renn; Carroll, Christtian; Greenwood, Matt. 2007. Summer food habits of young grass pickerel Esox amercanious, warmouth Lepomis gulosus, and log perch Percino caprodes from a cove in Lake Ouachita, Garland County, Arkansas. Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science 61:134-136.

Warren, L. W., Jr., B. M. Burr, S. J. Walsh, H. L. Bart, Jr., R. C. Cashner, D. A. Etnier, B. J. Freeman, B. R. Kuhajda, R. L. Mayden, H. W. Robison, S. T. Ross, and W. C. Starnes. 2000. Diversity, Distribution, and Conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries 25(10):7-29.

Willis, D.J.; D.L. Watson; M.V. Hoyer; D.E. Canfield. 2009. Factors related to Warmouth Lepomis gulosus biomass and density in Florida lakes. Florida Scientist 72:3:218-226.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warmouth

 

Green Sunfish

 Green Sunfish | Lepomis cyanellus

Green Sunfish info via Wikipedia:

Green sunfish
Lepomis cyanellis.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. cyanellus
Binomial name
Lepomis cyanellus
Rafinesque, 1819

The green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. A panfish popular with anglers, the green sunfish is also kept as an aquarium fish by hobbyists. They are usually caught by accident, while fishing for other game fish. Green sunfish can be caught with live bait such as nightcrawlers, waxworms, and mealworms. Grocery store baits such as pieces of hot dog or corn kernels can even catch fish. Small lures have been known to occasionally catch green sunfish. They can be caught with fly fishing tackle.

The green sunfish is said to have polarization sensitive vision not found in humans and other vertebrates mostly which helps in enhancement of visibility of target objects in scattering media, using a method called polarization difference imaging. The green Sunfish is considered an invasive species in the state of Florida and New Jersey. In New Jersey anglers must destroy them, and not release them.[2] They are illegal to possess without a valid permit on research or exhibition by a public agency such as an aquarium or research facility.

Geographic distribution

The green sunfish is native to a wide area of North America east of the Rocky Mountains, from the Hudson Bay basin in Canada, to the Gulf Coast in the United States, and northern Mexico. They are specifically indigenous to a number of lakes and rivers such as the Great Lakes and some of the basins of the Mississippi River. Green sunfish have been introduced to many bodies of water all across the United States, so are frequently encountered.[3]L. cyanellus has been transplanted to many countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe, where it has become established in some.

A juvenile

Description

The green sunfish is blue-green in color on its back and sides with yellow-flecked bony-ridged (ctenoid) scales, as well as yellow coloration on the ventral sides. They also have a dark spot located near the back end of the dorsal fin, the bases of the anal fins.[4] and on the ear plate. It has a relatively big mouth and long snout that extends to beneath the middle of the eye.[5] Its pectoral fins are short with rounded edges containing 13-14 pectoral fin rays, a dorsal fin with about 10 dorsal spines and a homocercal tail. The typical length ranges from about 3-7 in and usually weighs less than a pound. The green sunfish reaches a maximum recorded length of about 30 cm (12 in), with a maximum recorded weight of 960 g (2.2 lb). Identification of sunfish species from one another can sometimes be difficult as these species frequently hybridize.[6]

Habitat

The species prefers vegetated areas in sluggish backwaters, lakes, and ponds with gravel, sand, or bedrock bottoms. They also can be found in very muddy waters and are able to tolerate poor water conditions. Green sunfish tend to spend their time hiding around rocks, submerged logs, and other objects that provide cover and protection.

Diet

Its diet can include aquatic insects and larvae, insects that fall into the water, crayfish, snails, turtle food, some small fish, zooplankton, and other small invertebrates.

Reproduction

Adult

Green sunfish begin spawning in the summer with the exact time varying with location and water temperature. When they do spawn, the males create nests in shallow water by clearing depressions in the bottom,[7] often near a type of shelter such as rocks or submerged logs.[8] The male defends his nest from other males using visual displays and physical force when necessary.[9] On occasion, simply constructing a nest is sufficient for the male to attract a mate, but when it is not he will court a female with grunts and lead her to his nest.

They continue their courtship dance, swimming with each other around the nest until the female descends to deposit her eggs in the nest. The female will lay 2,000 to 26,000 eggs and leave them for the male to guard. He keeps watch over them until they hatch in three to five days, while protecting them and fanning them with his fins, keeping them clean and providing them with oxygenated water. When they hatch, the fry remain near the nest for a few days, then leave to feed and fend for themselves.[8] After the eggs have hatched, the male will often seek to attract another female to lay her eggs in his nest.

Green sunfish tend to nest in areas close to other green sunfish, as well as other species of sunfish. Due to the close proximity of multiple nests, a green sunfish female may deposit some of her eggs into the nest of a male of a different species. This in turn leads to the next generation containing some amount of hybrids.[8] These green sunfish hybrids will often look like a combination of their parents, often making it difficult to distinguish one species from another.[10]

Etymology

The generic name Lepomis derives from the Greek λεπίς (scale) and πώμα (cover, plug, operculum). The specific epithet, cyanellus, derives from the Greek κυανός (blue).

References

  1. ^ NatureServe (2013). "Lepomis cyanellus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife - Aquatic Invasive Species". www.state.nj.us. Retrieved 2016-05-22. 
  3. ^ (Page et al. 1991, p. 267).
  4. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 208; Page et al. 1991, p. 267)
  5. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 208; Page et al. 1991, p. 267).
  6. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 208-209).
  7. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 209)
  8. ^ a b c (Paulson 2004).
  9. ^ (Paulson 2004)
  10. ^ (Philips et al. 1982, p. 209).
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Sunfish

 

Bluegill

Bluegill | Lepomis macrochirus

 


Bluegill info via Wikipedia:

For the exoatmospheric nuclear test, see Bluegill (nuclear test).
Bluegill
BlueGill 002.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. macrochirus
Binomial name
Lepomis macrochirus
Rafinesque, 1810

The bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is a species of freshwater fish sometimes referred to as bream, brim, or copper nose. It is a member of the sunfish family Centrarchidae of the order Perciformes. It is native to North America and lives in streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. It is commonly found east of the Rockies. It usually hides around, and inside, old tree stumps and other underwater structures. It can live in either deep or very shallow water, and will often move back and forth, depending on the time of day or season. Bluegills also like to find shelter among water plants and in the shade of trees along banks.

Bluegills can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and about 4 12 pounds. They have very distinctive coloring, with deep blue and purple on the face and gill cover, dark olive-colored bands down the side, and a fiery orange to yellow belly. The fish are omnivores and will eat anything they can fit in their mouth. They mostly feed on small aquatic insects and fish. The fish play a key role in the food chain, and are prey for muskies, walleye, trout, bass, herons, kingfishers, snapping turtles, and otters.

The bluegill is the state fish of Illinois.[1]

Description

Bluegill from Lake Lanier, Buford, GA. (Caught & Released, June 14, 2004)

The bluegill is noted for the black spot that it has on the posterior edge of the gills and base of the dorsal fin. The sides of its head and chin are a dark shade of blue. It usually contains 5–9 vertical bars on the sides of its body, but these stripes are not always distinct. It has a yellowish breast and abdomen, with the breast of the breeding male being a bright orange.[2] The bluegill has three anal spines, ten to 12 anal fin rays, six to 13 dorsal fin spines, 11 to 12 dorsal rays, and 12 to 13 pectoral rays. They are characterized by their deep, flattened bodies. They have a terminal mouth, ctenoid scales, and a lateral line that is arched upward anteriorly.[3] The bluegill typically ranges in size from about four to 12 inches, and reaches a maximum size just over 16 inches. The largest bluegill ever caught was four pounds, 12 ounces in 1950.[4]

The bluegill is most closely related to the orangespotted sunfish and the redear sunfish, but different in a distinct spot at or near the base of the soft dorsal fin.[2]

Distribution and habitat

Male bluegill

The bluegill[citation needed] occurs naturally in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains from coastal Virginia to Florida, west to Texas and northern Mexico, and north to western Minnesota and western New York. Today they have been introduced to almost everywhere else in North America, and have also been introduced into Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe,[5]Asia, South America, and Oceania. Bluegills have also been found in the Chesapeake Bay, indicating they can tolerate up to 1.8% salinity.[2]

In some locations where they have been transplanted, they are considered pests: trade in the species is prohibited in Germany and Japan. In the case of Japan, bluegills were presented to the then-crown prince, Akihito in 1960 as a gift by Richard J. Daley, mayor of Chicago. The prince, in turn, donated the fish to fishery research agencies in Japan from which they escaped, becoming an invasive species which has wreaked havoc with native species, specifically in Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. The emperor has since apologized.[6]

Bluegill live in the shallow waters of many lakes and ponds, along with slow-moving areas of streams and small rivers. They prefer water with many aquatic plants, and hide within fallen logs or water weeds. They can often be found around weed beds, where they search for food or spawn.[7] In the summer, adults move to deep, open water where they suspend just below the surface and feed on plankton and other aquatic creatures. Bluegill try to spend most of their time in water from 60 to 80 °F (16 to 27 °C), and tend to have a home range of about 320 square feet (30 m2) during nonreproductive months. They enjoy heat, but do not like direct sunlight - they typically live in deeper water, but will linger near the water surface in the morning to stay warm.[2] Bluegill are usually found in schools of 10 to 20 fish, and these schools will often include other panfish, such as crappie, pumpkinseeds, and smallmouth bass.[8]

Ecology

Young bluegills' diet consists of rotifers and water fleas. The adult diet consists of aquatic insect larvae (mayflies, caddisflies, dragonflies), but can also include crayfish, leeches, snails, and other small fish.[9] If food is scarce, bluegill will also feed on aquatic vegetation, and if scarce enough, will even feed on their own eggs or offspring. As bluegill spend a great deal of time near the surface of water, they can also feed on surface bugs. Most bluegills feed during daylight hours, with a feeding peak being observed in the morning and evening (with the major peak occurring in the evening).[8] Feeding location tends to be a balance between food abundance and predator abundance. Bluegill use gill rakers and bands of small teeth to ingest their food. During summer months, bluegills generally consume 35 percent of their body weight each week. To capture prey, bluegills use a suction system in which they accelerate water into their mouth. Prey comes in with this water. Only a limited amount of water is able to be suctioned, so the fish must get within 1.75 centimeters of the prey.[9]

In turn, bluegill are prey to many larger species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, muskellunge, turtles, northern pike, yellow perch, walleye, catfish, and even larger bluegill. Herons and otters have also been witnessed[citation needed] catching bluegill in shallow water. However, the shape of the fish makes them hard to swallow.[8]

Adaptations

Bluegills have the ability to travel and change directions at high speeds by means of synchronized fin movements. They use notched caudal fins, soft dorsal fins, body undulations, and pectoral fins to move forward. Having a notched caudal fin allows them to accelerate quickly. The speed of their forward motion depends on the strength of which they abduct or adduct fins. The flat, slender body of the bluegill lowers water resistance and allows the bluegills to cut effectively through water. The large, flexible pectoral fins allow the fish to decelerate quickly. This superior maneuverability allows the bluegill to forage and escape predators very successfully. Bluegills have a lateral line system, as well as inner ears, that act as receptors for vibration and pressure changes. However, bluegills rely heavily on sight to feed, especially in their foraging. Optimal vision occurs in the daylight hours. The mouth of the bluegill is very small and requires the use of the pharynx to suck in prey.[10]

Reproduction and lifestyle

Spawning season for bluegills starts late in May and extends into August. The peak of the spawning season usually occurs in June in waters of 67 to 80 °F (19 to 27 °C). The male bluegills arrive first at the mating site. They will make a spawning bed of six to 12 inches in diameter in shallow water, clustering as many as 50 beds together. The males scoop out these beds in gravel or sand. Males tend to be very protective and chase everything away from their nests, especially other male bluegills. Some bluegills, regardless of their small size, will even attack snorkelers if they approach the edge of the nest. As a female approaches, the male will begin circling and making grunting noises. The motion and sound of the males seem to attract the females. Females are very choosy and will usually pick males with larger bodies and "ears", making larger size a desirable trait for males to have. If the female enters the nest, both the male and female will circle each other, with the male expressing very aggressive behavior toward the female. If the female stays, the pair will enter the nest and come to rest in the middle. With the male in an upright posture, the pair will touch bellies, quiver, and spawn. These actions are repeated at irregular intervals several times in a row. Once the spawning is done, the male will chase the female out of the nest and guard the eggs.[8] The fertilization process is entirely external. The male's sperm combines with the female's eggs in the water. Smaller males will often hide in nearby weeds and dart into the nest as they attempt to fertilize the eggs. They then quickly dart away.[2] The size of the female plays a large role in how many eggs will be produced. A small female can produce as few as 1,000 eggs, and a large, healthy female can produce up to 100,000 eggs. The male continues to watch over the nest until the larvae are able to hatch and swim away on their own. The bluegill generally begins its spawning career at one year of age, but has been found to spawn as early as four months of age under favorable conditions.[11] Anglers find spawning season to be a very successful time to fish for bluegills, as they aggressively attack anything, including a hook, that comes near.[8]

The growth of the bluegill is very rapid in the first three years, but slows considerably once the fish reaches maturity. Many fish reach five to eight years old, and in extreme cases, can live 11 years.[10]

Fishing

Bluegill caught in an Alabama pond

Bluegills are popular panfish, caught with live bait such as worms or crickets, grasshoppers, flies, pieces of corn, small crankbaits, spinners, American cheese pushed around a hook, maggots, small frogs, bread, hotdogs, or even a bare hook. They mostly bite on vibrant colors like orange, yellow, green, or red, chiefly at dawn and dusk. They are noted for seeking out underwater vegetation for cover; their natural diet consists largely of small invertebrates and very small fish. The bluegill itself is also occasionally used as bait for larger game fish species, such as blue catfish, flathead catfish and largemouth bass.[12]

Fishermen are sometimes able to use polarized sunglasses to see through water and find bluegills' spawning beds.[13] Bluegill have a rather bold character; many have no fear of humans, eating food dropped into the water, and a population in Canada's Lake Scugog will even allow themselves to be stroked by human observers. Because of their size and the method of cooking them, bluegills are often called panfish.[14]

Although the majority of bluegills are caught on live bait—particularly worms, leeches, grubs and crickets—they can also be taken on tiny artificials such as jigs and spinnerbaits. They will rise to small poppers, sponge bugs and dry flies.[15] They will also take wet flies, nymphs, and small streamers.

Management

Bluegills play an important role in pond and lake management to keep crustacean and insect populations low, as a single bluegill population may eat up to six times its own weight in just one summer.[10]

References

  1. ^ Illinois State Symbols and Their History
  2. ^ a b c d e Schultz, Ken. Ken Schultz's Field Guide to Freshwater Fish. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons, 2004
  3. ^ Sublette, J. E., M. D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. 393 pp
  4. ^ Ross, S. T. 2001. The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson. 624 pp
  5. ^ https://www.newsday.co.zw/2014/01/11/cat-mouse-game-chivero/
  6. ^ "Japan in culinary offensive to stop spread of US fish" report by Justin McCurry from Tokyo in The Guardian November 26, 2007
  7. ^ Lee, D. S. 1980. Lepomis macrochirus (Rafinesque 1819), Bluegill. pp. 597 in D. S. Lee, et al. Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. N. C. State Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh, 854 pp
  8. ^ a b c d e Paulson, Nicole, and Jay T. Hatch. "Fishes of Minnesota-Bluegill." GC 1112 Welcome. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 18 June 2004. Web. 04 May 2011. http://hatch.cehd.umn.edu/research/fish/fishes/bluegill.html
  9. ^ a b Carlander, K.D. 1997. Handbook of freshwater fishery biology. Volume 2. Life history Data on centrarchid fishes of the United States and Canada. Iowa State Univ.Press, Iowa.
  10. ^ a b c Swingle, H. S. and E. V. Smith. 1943. Factors affecting the reproduction of bluegill bream and large black bass in ponds. Ala. Poly-Tech. Inst. Agr. Exp. Stn. Circ. 87:8
  11. ^ Sternberg, Dick. Freshwater Gamefish of North America. 1987.
  12. ^ Coble, Daniel W. "Effects of Angling on Bluegill Populations: Management Implications." North American Journal of Fisheries Management 8.3 (1988): 277
  13. ^ "Bluegill Fishing 101". bluegillslayer.com. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Fishes of Minnesota: Bluegill Archived June 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Minnesota DNR." Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Minnesota DNR. Web. 04 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Bluegill." North American Fishing Club. N.p., 8 Sept. 2010. Web. 2 July 2012. <http://www.fishingclub.com/my-nafc/fishing-wiki/topic/bluegill>.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluegill

 

Redspotted Sunfish

Redspotted Sunfish | Lepomis miniatus

 


 

Redspotted Sunfish info via Wikipedia:

Redspotted sunfish
Lepomis miniatus 2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. miniatus
Binomial name
Lepomis miniatus
(D. S. Jordan, 1877)

The redspotted sunfish (Lepomis miniatus) is a species of freshwater demersal fish native to the United States.[2]

Geographic distribution

The redspotted sunfish is a freshwater fish that can be found throughout the Mississippi River Valley. The distribution spreads north into Illinois and to the Ohio river, west into Texas and to Oklahoma's Red River, and east to the Chattahoochee River in Georgia.[3] Currently the populations of Lepomis miniatus found in the southern United States seem to be stable.[3] However, the species numbers have diminished significantly in the state of Illinois which lies at the northernmost point of the fish's historic range. Once the redspotted sunfish was found in bodies of water throughout the state but the species range is now limited to just a few counties in the southern portion of Illinois.[4] In fact surveys conducted in the mid-2000s suggested that just two populations existed in the entire state at the time.[5] There could be a number of causes for the decrease in the Lepomis miniatus in Illinois. A popular theory is that the redspotted sunfish has struggled due to a loss of wetlands, which make up the sunfish's natural habitat. The population may also be declining due to increasingly poor water conditions or from competition with invasive species.[6]

Ecology

Lepomis miniatus feeds primarily on benthic species. Zooplankton make up between 33.3% to 74.6% of the diet of small sunfishes, about 50% of the diet of medium-sized sunfishes as they introduce larger prey into their diet. At larger sizes the redspotted sunfish shifts primarily to benthic macrofauna.[7] Many larger carnivorous fish feed on the redspotted sunfish, primarily bass.[8]Lepomis miniatus is commonly found in shallow and highly vegetative water. The species seems to prefer areas of slow moving water, 0.4 cm/s.[3] While the redspotted sunfish has been shown to compete with other sunfish and some invasive species, like the Rio Grande cichlid in Louisiana, this competition is thought to have little effect in most cases due to the generalist diet of Lepomis miniatus.[9] A more direct danger could be invasives who force the Lepomis miniatus out of its preferred habitat, thus increasing the risk of predation.[8] Human induced changes that might affect the redspotted sunfish could be the reduction in habitat itself, seeing as how they inhabit smaller bodies of water due to their preference for shallow, vegetative, water. They also might directly hurt the water quality through pollution, like in the case of the Wabash River in Illinois which saw the species decline possibly due to oil pollution.[4]

Life history

The breeding time of the redspotted sunfish varies across the range of the species but usually occurs in late spring or early summer. The fish breeds in shallow, shaded, areas close to the shore in nests constructed by the males. The redspotted sunfish has an average clutch size of around 2000.[10]Lepomis miniatus reaches sexual maturity at lengths greater than 50–55 mm TL, which occurs sometime between the ages of one and two.[10] The average lifespan of the Lepomis miniatus is about five to six years, six being the maximum age the species tends to reach.[10] The effect of human induced changes on this life history is unknown at this time.

Conservation and management

Decimation of the sunfish was probably the result of drainage of swamps and bottomland lakes and the general deterioration of the water quality.[5] There is some concern that the release of the invasive Nile tilapia into waters inhabited by the redspotted sunfish could be detrimental to the species.[8]

In Illinois the redspotted sunfish has been listed as endangered in that state. Fortunately a number of organizations have been working to help the species recover and are hoping to get the sunfish's status reduced to threatened in Illinois by 2014.[5] The main groups who are working to rehabilitate Lepomis miniatus are the Nature Conservancy in conjunction with the Illinois Natural History Survey and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.[6] These conservation efforts have involved transplanting a portion of the redspotted sunfish population into two protected, suitable, bodies of water. The first being a preserve lake in Emiquon Nature Preserve and the second being a refuge pond in Allerton Park. These populations have spawned enough fish to stock five more suitable bodies of water.[5]

The redspotted sunfish is listed as an endangered species in the state of Illinois.[11] It is being reintroduced into the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge near Havana, Illinois.[12]

References

  1. ^ NatureServe (2015). "Lepomis miniatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 4.1 (4.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). "Lepomis miniatus" in FishBase. July 2011 version.
  3. ^ a b c Williams, C.H. and T.H. Bonner. Lepomis miniatus. Texas Freshwater Fishes. Texas State University - San Marcos. n.d. Web. Retrieved 11 November 2012. http://www.bio.txstate.edu/~tbonner/txfishes/lepomis%20miniatus.htm
  4. ^ a b Nyboer, R.W., J.R. Herkert, and J.E. Ebinger. Endangered and Threatened Species of Illinois: Status and Distribution, Vol 2: Animals. Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. p. 75. 2004 Web. Retrieved 11 November 2012. http://dnr.state.il.us/ORC/WildlifeResources/theplan/PDFs/2%20From%20Threatened%20&%20Endangered%20Species%20of%20Illinois.pdf
  5. ^ a b c d The Redspotted Sunfish Saga: From Statewide Surveys to Genetic Analyses, Captive Propagation, and Reintroduction Efforts. n.d. Web. Retrieved 11 November 2012. http://www.midwestfw.org/documents/FisheriesAbstracts.pdf
  6. ^ a b Great Rivers: Restoring Wetlands Gives Fish a Fighting Chance. The Nature Conservancy. 07 March 2011 Web. Retrieved 11 November 2012. http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/habitats/riverslakes/howwework/restoring-wetlands-gives-fish-a-fighting-chance.xml
  7. ^ VanderKooy, K.E., C.F. Rakocinski, and R.W. Heard. 2000. Trophic relationships of three sunfishes (Lepomis spp.) in an estuarine bayou. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. Vol 23-5: 621-632.
  8. ^ a b c Martin, C.W., M.M. Valentine, and J.F. Valentine. 2010. Competitive Interactions between Invasive Nile Tilapia and Native Fish: The Potential for Altered Trophic Exchange and Modification of Food Webs. PLOS ONE. Vol 5-12: Article e14395.
  9. ^ Lorenz, T.O., M.T. O'Connell, and P.J. Schofield. 2011. Aggressive interactions between the invasive Rio Grande cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) and native bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), with notes on redspotted sunfish (Lepomis miniatus). Journal of Ethology. Vol 29-1: 39-46
  10. ^ a b c Wallus, R. and T.P. Simon. Reproductive Biology and Early Life History of Fishes in the Ohio River Drainage, Vol 6: Elassomatidae and Centrarchidae. p. 234-239. n.d. Web. Retrieved 11 November 2012. https://books.google.com/books?id=uZ2rHfYHYncC&pg=PA20&dq=%22Reproductive+biology+and+early+life+history+of+fishes%22+%22redspotted+sunfish%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=84CpULHLLoqu9ATAnIHAAw&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=redspotted&f=false
  11. ^ Mankowski, A., ed. (2010). "Endangered and Threatened Species of Illinois: Status and Distribution, Volume 4 - 2009 and 2010 Changes to the Illinois List of Endangered and Threatened Species" (PDF). Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. p. 29. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Redspotted Sunfish (Lepomis miniatus) reintroduction to Illinois sites of historical distribution" (PDF). Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepomis_miniatus

 

Bantom Sunfish

 

Bantom Sunfish | Lepomis symmetricus

 


Bantom Sunfish info via Wikipedia:

Bantam sunfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: L. symmetricus
Binomial name
Lepomis symmetricus
Forbes, 1883

The bantam sunfish (Lepomis symmetricus) is a species of freshwater fish in the genus Lepomis common throughout Louisiana, in extreme southeastern Texas, in southern Arkansas, and in a few places in western Kentucky and western Tennessee.

Anatomy and appearance

The bantam sunfish is dark in color with around ten vertical stripes visible along each flank. The lower jaw protrudes noticeably beyond the upper.[2]

Geographic distribution

The northern and southern boundaries for the bantam sunfish coincide fairly heavily with the former Mississippi Embayment from southern Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico.[3] As for the eastern and western boundaries, the bantam sunfish occurs along the Gulf Coast from Eagle Lake (in the Colorado River drainage) in Texas east through the Biloxi River system in Mississippi.[4] The species is common only in a few states. These states include Louisiana where the fish resides statewide,[5] extreme southeastern Texas, southern Arkansas,[6] and a few places in western Kentucky[7] and western Tennessee.[8] The bantam sunfish is also known to occur, less commonly, in parts of extreme southwestern Illinois, the Bootheel of Missouri, McCurtain County in Oklahoma, and some Mississippi and Gulf Coast drainages of the State of Mississippi.[4]

Historically, isolated populations of the bantam sunfish occurred above the Fall Line in the Illinois River at Pekin, in backwater ponds and sloughs of the Wabash River drainage in White County, Illinois,[9] and the Pine Hills. In Illinois, the range of the bantam sunfish is considered to be limited to the Wolf Lake region of Union County.[10] Newer records extend the Illinois range of the bantam sunfish south through the Clear Creek drainage to Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County, and through the Cache River drainage in Buttonland Swamp, Limekiln Slough, and Grassy Slough.[11][12] Previous collections in the Cache River drainage failed to produce any bantam sunfish.[13]

Ecology

One study of the gut contents of wild-caught bantam sunfish revealed a diverse diet dominated by gastropods, odonate larvae, and micro-crustaceans.[9] Bantam sunfish individuals of less than 21mm in length fed primarily upon aquatic Hemiptera, micro-crustaceans, and chironomids, while individuals of more than 40 mm in length commonly ate gastropods, amphipods, and larger dipteran larvae. Bantam sunfish of all size classes regularly consumed dragonfly larvae.[13]

The bantam sunfish has no known predators. Many predatory fish coexist in the habitat of bantam sunfish; however, predation has not been documented in literature reports.[13] One extensive study at Wolf Lake, Illinois found no evidence of predation on the bantam sunfish.[9] Gut analysis of potential predators, including largemouth bass, black crappie, white crappie, warmouth, bluegill, and yellow bullhead revealed a lack of predation on bantam sunfish.[13]

The bantam sunfish typically inhabits sloughs, oxbows, ponds, backwaters, lakes, and swamps. The vegetated margins of these environments are dominated by spatterdock, American lotus, broadleaf arrowhead, coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum), and duckweed (Lemna spp.) and are the preferred habitat for this fish. Substrates commonly consist of detritus, mud, and silt, with some sand.[9]

Environmental degradation caused by anthropogenic disturbance, particularly drainage of wetlands, is probably the greatest threat to the persistence of bantam sunfish in the wild.[13] Wetlands and swamps have been channelized, dredged, drained, and converted to croplands.[14] Rapid population growth in the southern portions of the United States poses multiple threats to aquatic biota as development of land and water resources continues to accelerate.[15] Over-collection for scientific research and educational purposes could become a problem given the bantam sunfish's short lifespan.[13]

Life history

The typical spawning period for the species throughout its range is from mid-April to early June.[9] Only large males at least one year and 40 mm in length appear to be sexually mature and do most of the spawning.[9] Females become sexually mature at one year of age; these individuals may be as short as 34 mm in length.[9] However, the largest females develop the earliest mature ova and probably contribute most to the spawning effort.[9]

There is little published data on the nest associates, nest sites and nesting behavior of the bantam sunfish in the wild.[13] One of the few accounts is from Robinson;[16] observations were made in a roadside pool in Saline County, Arkansas, where bantam sunfish had recently spawned in depressions in the mud and leaf litter substrate.

Conservation

Environmental degradation caused by anthropogenic disturbance, particularly drainage of wetlands, is probably the greatest threat to the bantam sunfish.[13] "We are not aware of any current management activities being employed in any states focusing on populations of L. symmetricus, except that Illinois is apparently planning possible introduction of the species back into its historic range on the Illinois River (probably backwaters or oxbow lakes) near Pekin...We are not aware of any past or current conservation activities being employed in any states focusing on populations of L. symmetricus, except for its inclusion on State lists of endangered/threatened or special concern species".[13] Limited information on the spawning and nesting habits of bantam sunfish in the wild make it near impossible to determine if populations are reproducing at a sustainable level.[13]

References

  1. ^ NatureServe (2015). "Lepomis symmetricus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 4.1 (4.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ Jordan & Gilbert. "Synopsis of the fishes or North America" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Lawrence M. Page; Brooks M. Burr (1991). A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 9780395353073. [page needed]
  4. ^ a b Stephen T. Ross (2001). The inland fishes of Mississippi. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. p. 426. ISBN 9781578062461. 
  5. ^ Douglas, N. H. 1974. Freshwater fishes of Louisiana. Claitor's Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 443 pp.
  6. ^ Robinson H. W. and Buchanan T. M. 1988. Fishes of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Arkansas. 536 pp.
  7. ^ Burr, B. M. and M. L. Warren. 1986. A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Frankfort, Kentucky. 398 pp.
  8. ^ Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Burr, B. M. 1977. The bantam sunfish, Lepomis symmetricus: systematics and distribution, and life history in Wolf Lake, Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin. Vol. 31 Art. 10.
  10. ^ Smith, P. W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois. 314 pp.
  11. ^ Burr, B. M., M. L. Warren, Jr., and K. S. Cummings. 1988. New distributional records of Illinois fishes with additions to the known fauna. Transactions of the Illinois Academy of Science. 81:163-170.
  12. ^ Burr, B. M. et al. 1996. Selected Illinois fishes in jeopardy: New records and state evaluations. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science. 89:169-186.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Zeman, D. K. and B. M. Burr, 2004. Conservation Assessment for Bantam Sunfish (Lepomis symmetricus). USDA Forest Service.
  14. ^ Fletcher, D. E. and B. M. Burr. 1992. Reproductive biology, larval description, and diet of the North American bluehead shiner, Notropis hubbsi (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) with comments on conservation status. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 3:193-218.
  15. ^ Warren, M. L., Jr. et al. 2000. Diversity, Distribution, and Conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries (American Fisheries Society) 25:7-29.
  16. ^ Robison, H. W. 1975. New distributional records of fishes from the lower Ouachita River system in Arkansas. Arkansas Academy of Science Proceedings 29:54-56 at 56.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepomis_symmetricus
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