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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Green Sunfish For Kids

Green sunfish facts about the fish considered as invasive in the USA

The green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) is one of the freshwater species fish from the family of sunfish. These are very small fish in size. The green sunfish is also known as aquarium fish. Being very common, they are easily caught or caught by accident through the fishers. They are very easy to catch using mealworms, waxworms, blood worms, and nightcrawlers as live bait. Green sunfish is native to lakes and ponds of the Great Lakes and some of the basins of the Mississippi River in North America.

In terms of description, the green sunfish is somewhat blue-green in color on the back and sides. It has yellow flecks on its bony ridged scales and some yellow coloration on the ventral sides. They usually have a dark spot near the back end of the dorsal fin, and the bases of the anal fins. They have a comparatively big mouth and long snout which is extended to the middle of the eye. The length of these fishes ranges from about three to seven inches. Green sunfish are usually able to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions and face good competition with other sunfish. The green sunfish are surely quite interesting creatures in the aquatic world, so let's find out more.

You may also like pumpkinseed sunfish facts and suckerfish facts.

Green Sunfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a green sunfish?

From the name itself, we can assume that green sunfish is a fish. These fishes are shallow-water fishes.

What class of animal does a green sunfish belong to?

The green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) is from the classification of fish. Its class is Actinopterygii. They are the types of fishes that are mostly ray-finned fishes because their fins are webs of skin supported by bony or horny rays.

How many green sunfish are there in the world?

Presently there are 13 different species of sunfish present in the world. Most of them are found in different regions across North America. It is not possible to say exactly how many green fish are currently present in the world.

Where does a green sunfish live?

Much like all the other species of fish, the distribution of green sunfish is commonly found in the waters of the American Midwest, Central, and South.

What is a green sunfish's habitat?

The green sunfish habitat is quite distinctive among all the species of the sunfish, as these species of fish prefer to live in areas where sand or bedrock bottoms are present such as sluggish backwaters, lakes, and ponds with gravel. Green sunfish usually prefer to spend most of the time hiding around the rocks or using different kinds of submerged logs, plants, and other things in the water to provide themselves a cover. Sometimes they are also found in the muddy water.

Who do green sunfish live with?

Usually, small fish like sunfish and more specifically green sunfish are seen living in pack with other ones of their kind because living in a large group is considered to be one of the best life-saving mechanisms for the fishes.

How long does a green sunfish live?

Due to being small, these fishes live a pretty reduced life. It also depends on the living condition they are facing. The average lifespan of green sunfish is about the 10 years but mostly they are able to live to around seven years.

How do they reproduce?

The timing of these green sunfish reproduction is usually in the period of late spring and summer in Minnesota. First off, the males have to build a nest nearby by clearing and making a depression in the lake or stream bottom to bring out the gravel. Sometimes the males have to defend the nesting area from other males using visual displays and physical force if necessary. Creating a nest and protecting the breeding ground is the main requirement for having females to mate. The male might also have to court a female with grunts and take her to his nest. In the process of reproduction, they actually perform a dance known as a courtship dance, swimming with each other around the nest until the female decides to put her eggs in the nest. After laying around 2,000-26,000 eggs the female has to leave the male to guard them and they have to watch them until the eggs hatch for three to five days, also providing them with oxygenated water while protecting them and fanning them with his fins. When the eggs get hatched, the male begins to attract other females to lay her eggs in his nest.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these fishes is to be considered as Least Concern or at least far away from being endangered or to be preserved. They are present in abundance and can be found very easily.

Green Sunfish Fun Facts

What do green sunfish look like?

Like the other members of the same species, they are also quite brightly colored. The only difference in green sunfish identification is that they have a large body in comparison and a large mouth. Green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) are to be found in a blue-green color with scattered dots of black and a white to yellow belly. To make them look distinctive they have a dark spot on the soft spinous portion of their dorsal fins, and also a spot on the posterior portion of their anal and pectoral fin which is quite rare. You may also notice vertical bars on their sides.

The green sunfish species have a dark spot on their dorsal and pectoral fin.

How cute are they?

Finding fish cute or not cute depends on each individual and may vary from person to person. In the case of these green sunfish, they have a beautiful color which can make them appear quite shiny any pretty.  

How do they communicate?

In terms of communication the green sunfish are generally solitary, but sometimes they might become a bit aggressive especially in breeding seasons. Males tend to produce different sounds during the mating season. Also it is assumed that the bright and bold colors are means of attraction to females through visual cues.

How big is a green sunfish?

The green sunfish size is a bit bigger compared to the other sunfish. They are 30.5 cm in length and 12.7-15.2 cm tall.

How fast can a green sunfish swim?

There's no such specific speed determined for these fish with which they tend to swim. Also, it depends on the condition or if they are facing any threat.

How much does a green sunfish weigh?

The weight of the green sunfish is around 2.1 lb or 0.9 kg (to 2.1 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

They don't have any specific names for the male or female.

What would you call a baby green sunfish?

As there is no name to call a baby green sunfish by, calling them baby sunfish will suit them just fine.

What do they eat?

In the green sunfish diet, they are mostly piscivore and insectivore. These green sunfish sometimes like to eat different kinds of zooplanktons and when they become fully grown they expand their diets to include insect larvae and small snails.

Are they eaten by humans?

Yes, they are eaten by humans in good numbers and are also very safe to eat. Though you do have to take care, when having them, to make sure the fish is cleaned properly. In different seasons, the health of these fish can be affected to ensure you have a clean fish before cooking.

Would they make a good pet?

If you really want to have a fish pet then a green sunfish aquarium might be good a choice. They will certainly look pretty. Feeding them two to three shrimp pellets is a good idea.

Did you know...

There are a set of teeth present in the mouth of these fish which is known as Palatine teeth.

The green sunfish record for the heaviest fish weighs something like 2 lb 2 oz or 0.96 kg.

They are quite predatory in ponds and will eat many other small fishes in the pond. They can become quite aggressive too, taking over the water.

The green sunfish are highly adaptable and so are considered a pioneer species as they can be the first to occupy a stream environment.

What are some other names for a green sunfish?

Some other names of the green sunfish are shade perch, blue spotted sunfish, black perch, mud bass, slicks, ricefield slick, pond perch, green perch, sand bass, and rubber-tail.

The green sunfish, however, does not go by the name bluegill. This is another type of fish often confused with the sunfish as they look similar. Green sunfish vs bluegill can be told apart by the difference in size, with bluegill being much bigger. Bluegill will also have an obviously yellow belly.

Do green sunfish crossbreed?

Yes, green sunfish might crossbreed sometimes with some other species of their own kind. For example, the green sunfish bluegill hybrid is a cross between the green sunfish and bluegill sunfish. There is an actually spawning happening between these two breeds of fish. Other hybrid sunfish can be found too.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including wels catfish, or longhorn cowfish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Green sunfish coloring pages.

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