Flatfishes, sunfishes, and perchlike fishes

Redbreast Sunfish Redbreast Sunfish
Lepomis auritus


To 11" (28 cm); 1 1/2 lbs (700 g). Oblong, compressed; back dark olive to dusky, sides greenish to yellowish brown with reddish spots, belly reddish orange. Mouth extends to eye; bluish lines below eye. Opercular flap "ear" very long, no wider than eye, black, without light border; 11 short gill rakers. Fins plain, median fins yellow-orange, occasionally dusky; pectoral fins short, rounded, 13-15 rays; 3 anal fin spines. Lateral line complete, 43-50 scales.


Similar Species

The Redbreast Sunfish inhabits streams more frequently than most other sunfishes. It is usually found alone, but it forms compact hibernating schools at low temperatures. Unlike other sunfishes, the Redbreast does not produce sounds during courtship.

Redbreast Sunfish


Streams with slow to moderate current over sand, gravel, or rocks; also in ponds and lakes.


Atlantic Coast streams from New Brunswick south to central Florida, west in Gulf Coast drainages from W. Florida to E. Alabama. Introduced outside native range.