The flier (Centrarchus macropterus) is a sunfish (family Centrarchidae) native to muddy-bottomed swamps, ponds, weedy lakes, and riverine backwaters across the American South, from southern Illinois east to the Potomac River basin and south to Texas.
C. macropterus is currently the only species of genus Centrarchus Cuvier, 1829, but Lacépède had originally assigned it to Labrus (now confined to some marine wrasses). The generic name, Centrarchus, derives from the Greek κέντρον (centre, in this sense "sting") and άρχος (ruler, in this sense "anus"), in reference, presumably, to the sharp spines on the anal fin. Centrarchus being the type genus of family Centrarchidae, it gives its name to the whole sunfish family. The specific name, macropterus, derives from μακρόν πτερόν (long fin).