Post date: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 14:40
Updated date: 11/12/14
Northern Longear Sunfish - Lepomis peltastes

 

This small, brightly colored variety of sunfish was once considered a subspecies of the Longear Sunfish.  But the differences are significant enough to warrant placing this fish into its own species. At some point, the Longear might get split up as well, but for now it's still being treated as a single species. 

 

Other Names: Northern Longear Sunfish, Great Lakes Sunfish

 

 

 


Description

 

Obviously, Northern Sunfish appear similar to Longear Sunfish. To tell them apart, look at the opercle (ear flap).  The northern sunfish has an opercle that angles upward at a 45 degree angle, while the opercle of the Longear sunfish is roughly horizontal. The northern sunfish will also show a prominent red blotch on the opercle, while the longear usually has no bright red blotch, or just a few tiny specks of red.

 

 

 


Habitat

 

Northern Sunfish like thick weeds and shallow waters.  They usually live in lakes and sluggish backwaters of streams.  Longears require fairly clean water with abundant and healthy aquatic vegetation.

 

 

 

Range Map

Photo Credits:

Tyler W, fishingwithpole


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