Latin name

Lepomis gibbosus

Other names

Bream, common sunfish, round sunfish, pond perch, pumpkinseed, punky, speckled perch, sun bass, sunfish, sunny, yellow sunfish.


A brilliantly colored fish, the adult pumpkinseed is olive green with blue and orange spots and golden stripes along the underside. Juvenile and adult females have dusky chain-like stripes on their sides. There is a bright red or orange spot on the back edge of the short black ear flap. Many bold dark brown wavy lines or orange spots cover the second dorsal, caudal, and anal fins, and there are wavy blue lines on the cheeks. The fish has long, pointed pectoral fins that usually extend well beyond the eyes when bent forward. It has a small mouth, with the upper jaw not extending below the pupils of the eyes. They are usually found on silt or mud in vegetated lakes, pools and backwaters of streams and small and medium-sized rivers. Adults can often be seen resting upside down in vegetation.


Although pumpkin seeds are found from Washington and Oregon in western North America to New Brunswick, Canada, they are most common in the northeastern United States. Their range extends as far east as Georgia and includes most of the United States except the south-central and southwestern regions. It includes Ontario and southern Quebec.


Pumpkinseed sunfish live in quiet and vegetated lakes, ponds, and pools of streams and small rivers, preferring weed thickets, docks, logs, and other shelters near the shore.


Most pumpkinseed sunfish are 4 to 6 inches long, but some reach 12 inches and are believed to live up to 10 years. The world record for fishing with all tackle is a 1 pound 6 ounce fish caught in New York City in 1985.

Life history and Behavior

Males and females reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age and spawn in the spring and summer when water temperatures are in the 60°F range. Males build nests in water less than 5 feet deep, often near banks and aquatic vegetation. Round nests, 4 to 16 inches in diameter, are built individually or in small groups. Eggs hatch in about 3 days, and the male guards the chicks for a week or more. Hybridization between this and other Lepomis species is common.

Food and feeding habits

Pumpkinseed sunfish feed on a variety of small foods including crustaceans, dragonfly and mayfly nymphs, ants, small salamanders, mollusks, mosquito larvae, snails, water bugs, and small fish.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Perciformes
Family Centrarchidae
Genus Lepomis
Species L. gibbosus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Littoral
Life span, years 10
Maximum body weight, kg 0.68
Maximum length, cm 28
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Bentophage

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Sunfish, Pumpkinseed

Tags: Sunfish, Pumpkinseed