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Species Index Game and Fish Home

Green Sunfish
Lepomis cyanellus
Identifying Characteristics

Spiny and soft dorsal fins well connected
2 to 3 anal fin spines
10 dorsal spines
Dark "ear" flap on gill plate has light colored margin
Distinguished from bluegill by larger mouth with jaw extending to middle of eye and lack of vertical bars
Distinguished from the rock bass by having three rather than five anal spines
Distinguished from the pumpkinseed from lack of orange spot on gill cover
Green Sunfish 
Other Information
In Wyoming, where it has been introduced, this species is the most common and widely distributed sunfish. Green sunfish thrive in small ponds, reservoirs, and slow-moving streams. Reproduction follows the same patterns as those of the other sunfish and is quite similar to that of the black basses. Green sunfish begin spawning in the early summer when water temperatures reach sixty degrees Fahrenheit. The male green sunfish constructs the nest in shallow water, then guards the nest and newly hatched fry after spawning. Food of the green sunfish includes aquatic insects, snails, crustaceans, and small fish.

Green Sunfish Image
Angling Tips
The green sunfish is readily taken by hook and line using bait and small flies. Unfortunately, it seldom reaches a desirable size.

Green Sunfish Image