Lepomis gibbosus

credit: Raver, Duane

The pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) is a freshwater fish of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. It is also referred to as "pond perch", "common sunfish", "punkys", and "sunny". Pumpkinseed sunfish have been introduced throughout all of North America. They can now be found from Washington and Oregon on the Pacific Coast to Georgia on the Atlantic Coast and are primarily found in the north-eastern United States. The pumpkinseeds natural range is from New Brunswick down the east coast to South Carolina. It then runs inland to the middle of North America, and extends through Iowa and back through Pennsylvania. The greatest populations of pumpkinseed sunfish are in the northeastern region of the United States as they are rarely found in the south-central or southwestern region of the continent. In Europe, the pumpkinseed is considered an invasive species. They were introduced to European waters, and could outcompete existing fish, therefore making them invasive or alien species.

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