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Common Name: Bluegill Sunfish

Scientific Name: Lepomis macrochirus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopyterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Centrarchidae

Genus: Lepomis

Species: L. marcochirus


The bluegill sunfish is 16.4 inches long and ranges in weight from 3 to 4 pounds. Their body is mainly the color of olive green with yellowish underneath and a blue/purple ear. If you get close enough, looking at the side of the fish, you may be able to see 6 - 8 vertical bars on their side. It has a small mouth, two dorsal fins with spinous and soft-rayed portions united, long pointed pectoral fins and a faint black spot on the soft-rayed part of the dorsal fin. This faint black spot separates that bluegill from other sunfish that lack this coloration.


They have adjusted themselves to live in different lake habitats. Lepomis Macrochirus do well in their ecosystem because bluegills are mostly active at dawn and during the day they can often be found in deep beds of weeds. At dawn, when they’re predators start swimming down, they start swimming into shallow waters. They can be found in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, and Louisiana.


The question of whether they are shrinking or not their population is said to be at a secure rate. They are growing normally. Food web interactions with the bluegill include the exotic invasive zebra mussels. Because they have very small mouths, that affects them by adapting to eat small animals. Largemouth Bass and Blue catfish are one predator of the bluegill.


The bluegill evades being eaten by schooling with 20-30 individuals. While I was reading about my animal, what stood out to me is that they have a small blue/purple earmarking on their side. I also learned that when they breed, which is from May to September (Chesapeake Bay) they produce an offspring of 5000(average).


Author: Gisselle C

Published: 02/2009




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