Definitions

redear-sunfish

Redear sunfish

[red-eer]

The redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus), also known as the shellcracker, Georgia bream, cherry gill, chinquapin, improved bream, and sun perch, is native to the southeastern United States, but since it is a popular sport fish it has been introduced to bodies of water all over North America. It generally resembles the bluegill except for coloration and somewhat larger size. 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 is between 20 and 24 cm in length. Max length is 43.2 cm. compared to a maximum of about 40 cm for the blegill.

The favorite food of this species is snails. These fish are bottomfeeders, meandering along lakebeds seeking and cracking open snails and other shelled creatures. The fish has 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.

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 miilion years, dating back to the Middle Miocene

References

  • Ellis, Jack (1993). The Sunfishes-A Fly Fishing Journey of Discovery. Bennington, VT: Abenaki Publishers, Inc..
  • 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.

Search another word or see redear-sunfishon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature