Closely related to the Eastern Spotted Sunfish, this very similar species is also known as the Western Spotted sunfish. It was officially recognized as a species in 2013.
The Redspotted Sunfish lives in the Northern Gulf Coast area, from Mexico through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Western Georgia, extending northward up the Mississippi into southern Illinois. Hybrids between Redspotted and Eastern Spotted Sunfish can be found in the Perdido River, which forms the border between Florida and Alabama.
Distinguishing Redspotted Sunfish from Eastern Spotted Sunfish is difficult if the location of catch is not established. Redspotted Sunfish will show a pale to bright red-orange patch on their side just above the ear flap (at the terminal end of the opercular opening), rows of red / yellow spots on side, no black specks on body, and 35-41 lateral scales. For comparison, Spotted Sunfish have many black specks on the body and head, no rows of red / yellow spots on side, and 38-44 lateral scales.