Any of numerous species of brightly coloured North American carnivorous freshwater fishes placed with the crappies and black basses in the family Centrarchidae. Usually less than 8 in. (20 cm) long, sunfishes are fine food and game fishes. The best-known are the black-banded sunfish (Enneacanthus chaetodon) of the eastern U.S. and the bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), which has an orange belly and blue markings. The longear sunfish has orange spots and wavy, bright blue streaks. The pumpkinseed, or common sunfish, has an orange belly and a red spot on its ear. The rock bass has irregular dark markings.
Pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus).—Jacques Six
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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