Latin name

Lepomis auritus

Other names

Longear sunfish, redbreast bream, robin, redbelly, sun perch, yellowbelly sunfish.


The body of the redbreasted sunfish is deep and compressed, but rather elongated for a sunfish. It is olive on top, fading to bluish-bronze underneath. During the spawning season, the males' bellies are bright orange-red, while the females' are pale orange. Several pale blue stripes radiate from the mouth, and the gills are short and rigid. The lobes or flaps of the gill cover in adult males are usually long and narrow and blue-black or black to the tip. Pectoral fins are short and rounded, and the operculum is soft and flexible.


Commonly found in rivers throughout the United States and Canada, the original range of the redbreast sunfish is the Atlantic slope of North America from New Brunswick, Canada, to central Florida and west to the Appalachian Mountains. The range now extends into parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kentucky. They have been introduced into reservoirs in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Italy, where they are considered a nuisance due to stunted growth.


Redbreast sunfish live in rocky and sandy pools of streams and small to mid-sized rivers. They prefer deeper sections of streams and vegetated lake shores.


Redbreast sunfish grow slowly and can reach 6-8 inches in length, but can also reach 11-12 inches and weigh about a pound. The world record for any tackle is a 1 pound 12 ounce fish caught in Florida in 1984.

Life history and Behavior

Redbreast spawn in the spring and summer when they are 2 to 3 years old and reach 4 inches in length. Spawning peaks when water temperatures reach 68° to 82°F. Males build nests in 1-2 feet of water near stumps, logs, rocks, or other sheltered areas on sandy or gravelly bottoms. Nests are 30-36 inches in diameter and 6-8 inches deep.

Food and feeding habits

Their main food is aquatic insects, but they also feed on snails, crayfish, small fish, and sometimes organic bottom material.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Perciformes
Family Centrarchidae
Genus Lepomis
Species L. auritus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 0.79
Maximum length, cm 30
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Bentophage

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Sunfish, Redbreast

Tags: Sunfish, Redbreast