Post date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 12:53
Updated date: 4/22/14
Orangespotted Sunfish Lepomis humilis

 

The orangespotted sunfish is a beautiful, tiny fish. It's at home in warm, turbid water with rocks, weeds, or other cover. Orangespots are able to tolerate polluted water better than other species of sunfish and so often dominate in urban areas with extremely poor water quality. They are spectacular aquarium subjects.

 


Description

 

Females are silvery, with brownish-orange spots, but the males are resplendent, with electric-blue sides, bright crimson bellies, a piercing red eye, and the typical orange polka-dots. Orangespots rarely reach 4 inches in length.


Habitat

 

Orangespots live in creeks, ponds, lake shallows, backwaters, river margins, and marshes. It generally prefers areas which are marginal habitat for other fishes. They often are most common in water less than a foot deep, and are comfortable both feeding and spawning in two inches of water or less. To find them, look in the silty, weed-choked or rocky shallows of a warm backwater connected to a major river system.

 

 


Tactics

 

Even though this species is too small to be a food fish, it's an amazing experience to pull up one of these beautiful gems. Kids, especially, really find these stunningly colorful little fishes interesting. Set them up with a cane pole and a #12 hook with a tiny piece of worm, and instruct them to plop it around close to shore. They'll be delighted by colorful orangespots in no time!

 

 


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