By: Nancy Hernandez Frias
Info on the Sunfish
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Actinopterygii
Habitat - The species prefers vegetated areas in sluggish backwaters, lakes, and ponds with gravel, sand, or bedrock bottoms.
Feeding Habits - Its diet can include aquatic insects and larvae, insects that fall into the water, crayfish, snails, some small fish, zoo plankton, and other small invertebrates.
Where its found - They also can be found in very muddy waters and are able to tolerate poor water conditions. Green sunfish tend to spend their time hiding around rocks, submerged logs, and other objects that provide cover and protection.
Conservation status - It is not an endangered species and it lives well. They are known to repopulate very quickly.
The green sunfish is a very versatile species, able to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, and tends to do very well when competition with other sunfish is minimal. Its ability to tolerate environmental extremes makes it ideal for survival in prairie streams where conditions are not stable, and it is often the first sunfish species to repopulate depleted areas.
Spawning occurs in late spring, when water temperatures rise above 70°F, and may continue throughout the summer. Hybridization with other sunfish species is very common. Males aggressively defend their nests for 6-7 days after eggs are deposited, at which time fry are usually free-swimming. Because of their enormous reproductive potential, green sunfish often overpopulate small lakes and ponds.
Originally the distribution of green sunfish appears to have been limited to the central plains west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Rocky Mountains, including northeastern Mexico. However, due to introductions the species has become nearly ubiquitous in the United States with the exception of Florida and parts of the northwest. Green sunfish are found throughout Texas.