Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Lepomis gibbosus is the scientific name (genus & species) for pumpkinseed sunfish and the scientific name for bluegill is lepomis macrochirus. They are members of the same genus and are very similar in terms of spawning behaviors, diet, and preferred environment. One difference is that sunfish rarely grow larger than 8”, but their sister fish, the bluegill, can exceed 10” in length. It is common for sunfish and bluegill to have spawning nests near each other and occasionally the male of one specie might mate with a female of the other specie. The young of sunfish live in the shallows eating zooplankton and small aquatic insect. They grow slowly their first summer, and like bluegill they are a good food source for other larger fish.