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Redbreast Sunfish Lepomis auritus


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Redbreast Sunfish
credit: Tkinias

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Family: Centrarchidae, Sunfishes view all from this family

Description The redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (family Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. The type species of its genus, it is native to the river systems of eastern Canada and the United States.

The redbreast sunfish reaches a maximum recorded length of about 30 cm (12 in), with a maximum recorded weight of 790 g (1.7 lb).

The species prefers vegetated and rocky pools and lake margins for its habitat. Its diet can include insects, snails, and other small invertebrates.

A panfish popular with anglers, the redbreast sunfish is also kept as an aquarium fish by hobbyists.

Redbreast sunfish are usually caught with live bait such as nightcrawlers, crickets, grasshoppers, waxworms, or mealworms. They can also be caught using small lures or flies. Most anglers use light spinning tackle to catch redbreast sunfish.

As is typical for the sunfishes, the female redbreast sunfish lays her eggs (approximately 1000) in a substrate depression built by the male. The male guards the eggs and fry.

L. auritus has been transplanted to and become established in Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, sometimes with a harmful effect on native species.

Dimensions Up to 11" (28 cm); 1 1/2 lbs (700 g).

Habitat Lakes & ponds, Rivers & streams.

Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Eastern Canada.