Fun Redbreast Sunfish Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 17, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Redbreast sunfish facts are fun to read.

Redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) is a freshwater fish that is native to Canada and the United States but also can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, west Texas, Louisiana, central Florida, and northern Florida. They belong to the Centrarchidae family which is the sunfish family.

This species of fish is also known as an eastern blue devil, a blue-tipped long-fin, and a Bleeker's redbreast sunfish.

People often get confused between a sunfish and a bluegill. To differentiate between the two, it is important to know that a sunfish's preferable habitat is the sea, while bluegill prefers freshwater.

A redbreast sunfish is an ideal example to highlight how they differ from a bluegill, however, this difference isn't true for all sunfishes.

These fish are mostly olive-green or blueish-green in color which fades into an orange-red belly in the case of females. They have nine to 10 anal fins which is a characteristic of the family they belong to.

To learn more about this species, keep on reading. Are you interested in learning about different animals living around the world? Then don't forget to read our articles on drum fish and sawfish.

Redbreast Sunfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a redbreast sunfish?

Belonging to the family of sunfish (more precisely Centrarchidae), a redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus), also known as red-breasted bream, is a freshwater fish.

What class of animal does a redbreast sunfish belong to?

This species of redbreast sunfish belong to the Actinopterygii class of the animal kingdom. Fish belonging to this class are also known as rayfinned fish. They do not have a rigid skeleton. Instead, their rays support the fins which give them their unique name.

How many redbreast sunfish are there in the world?

The exact number of these fish in the world is not known. However, according to the IUCN Red List, they come under the Least Concern category which indicates their abundance.

Where does a redbreast sunfish live?

This species can be found in the lakes and rivers of the Atlantic Ocean, west Texas, Louisiana, central Florida, and northern Florida. However, they are native to the rivers of Canada and the United States.

What is a redbreast sunfish's habitat?

This is a freshwater fish. Their habitat consists of lakes, backwaters of streams, rivers, pools, and upstream reaches of reservoirs. More precisely, they prefer the quiet and vegetated areas of the river body.

Who does redbreast sunfish live with?

It is not known whether this fish lives in schools or prefers to wander alone.

How long does a redbreast sunfish live?

Redbreasts, also known as red-breasted bream, have a lifespan of seven years. However, this is more common for males compared to females.

How do they reproduce?

The spawning season of redbreast sunfish starts in May and lasts until August. Water temperatures play an important role in their spawning.

Ideal water temperatures fall somewhere between 68-82 F (20-28 C). Their most preferable spawning ground is sand gravel in shallow water. During the spawning season, male sunfish build the nest for female sunfish.

Sometimes they even use an abandoned nest. Once it is made, female sunfish enter the nest and lay eggs. Depending on the age of the female, a single clutch can have 1000 to 10,000 eggs.

Soon after laying the eggs, females leave the nest. In the absence of female sunfish, a male sunfish takes care of the eggs and even looks after the young sunfish after the hatching of the eggs.

After this, both the male and female sunfish start moving towards deep water, leaving the shallow water river area behind. Both male and female fish of this species mate with several partners in their lifespan.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the redbreast sunfish falls under the Least Concern category. Native to the rivers of the USA and Canada, the habitat of this fish also consists of lakes, rivers, and backwater streams of the Atlantic Ocean, west Texas, Louisiana, central Florida, and northern Florida.

Redbreast Sunfish Fun Facts

What do Redbreast Sunfish look like?

Like other sunfishes, a redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) is compressed or flattened laterally, but its body is longer than other sunfish. The body of a redbreast is olive-green or bluish, fading in females into a bright, orange-yellow belly.

Both males and females have vertical rows with reddish-brown to orange spots on the sides of their bodies. These spots can also be seen at the edge of the tail or the body's caudal fin. Typically, the caudal fin is orange-red.

There is a long black lobe that stands out in the operculum or gill cover. A redbreast sunfish's face or cheek area may contain blue lines.

Underwater view of two redbreast sunfish.

How cute are they?

This is not a particularly cute-looking fish. Although they can be classified as colorful to some extent, their physical features do not qualify them as cute.

How do they communicate?

The exact communication method between this species is not known.

How big is a redbreast sunfish?

A redbreast sunfish can grow 8-12 in (20.3-30.5 cm) in length. Whereas the largest freshwater fish, beluga sturgeon, can grow up to 275.6 in (700 cm) in length. Compared to the longest freshwater fish, a redbreast sunfish is almost 22 times shorter in length.

How fast can a redbreast sunfish swim?

A redbreast sunfish can swim at a speed of 0.62 in/s (0.016 m/s).

How much does a redbreast sunfish weigh?

A redbreast sunfish weighs 1-2 lb (0.4-0.9 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no separate name for male and female fish of the redbreast sunfish species. Both counterparts are known as redbreast sunfish.

What would you call a baby redbreast sunfish?

A baby redbreast fish does not have any particular name. It goes by the name of its parent species, which in this case is fish. A young redbreast sunfish can also be called a 'fry'.

What do they eat?

Native to the rivers of the USA and Canada, this fish feeds upon aquatic insects, insect larvae, fish, terrestrial insects, mollusks, crayfish, snails, and clams. They are opportunistic feeders and compete with other fish living in these rivers, streams, and lakes. They also compete with other predatory fish living in the same habitat as theirs.

Are they eaten by humans?

A redbreast sunfish has a very delicious flavor and is easy to catch. Anything ranging from natural baits to artificial lures can be used when fishing for this fish.

Aquatic insects, insect larvae, flies, and crickets are often used as natural baits. At the same time, topwater plugs and spinners are used as artificial lures. Redbreast sunfish are commonly caught in Florida.

Did you know...

Although redbreasts belong to the family of sunfishes, redbreasts are different from other sunfishes because of their anal fins. Their anal fins have a darker color around their roots and fade toward the tips.

Are redbreast sunfish territorial?

Redbreasts do not show any territorial characteristics naturally. Yet, during the spawning season, males become territorial to protect the nest from other fish.

What are some other names for redbreast sunfish?

Redbreast sunfish are also known as red-breasted bream and yellowbelly sunfish, mostly for their unique belly color.

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 cuttlefish or clownfish.

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

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

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Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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