(Order Perciformes, Family Centrarchidae)
Diagnosis: Silvery in color with scattered brown or reddish spots.Breeding males have blue on the sides of their head streaked with orange. Its breast and fins are orange. The ear flap is long and flexible with a black rounded spot with white margin. Its mouth is moderately large. The gill rakers are slender. Maximum size for an adult Orangespotted Sunfish is 6 inches.
Below: A male Orangespotted Sunfish in breeding colors.
Below: A female Orangespotted Sunfish.
Habitat: Orangespotted sunfish are found throughout Kansas rivaling the Green Sunfish in abundance. It appears to prefer sandy streams, but tolerates muddy water. It also tolerates extensive water fluctuation and seems indifferent to bottom type. Like most species of sunfish, male Orangespotted sunfish construct a nest in shallow water. Spawning takes place from early June to early August, and the male guards the eggs and young until they are free swimming. The young then leave the nest. Orangespotted sunfish often mature in just one year.
Diet: Orangespotted sunfish eat mainly insects, but they also eat some smaller fishes.
Predation: Due to their small size, they are important as a food source for larger fish like bass and catfish.
Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America and Mexico. Second edition. Lawerence M. page and Brooks M. Burr. Copyright 2011
Fishes in Kansas. Second Edition, Revised Frank B. Cross and Joseph T. Collins Copyright 1995
Ohio Department of Wildlife: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/species_a_to_z/SpeciesGuideIndex/orangespottedsunfish/tabid/21787/Default.aspx
Submitted by: Jesse Busenbarrick, July 2013.