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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 8:52 EDT

Redbreast sunfish

The redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (family Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. It is native to the river systems of eastern Canada and the United States and prefers vegetated and rocky pools and lake margins for its habitat.

The redbreast sunfish reaches a maximum recorded length of about 30 cm (12 in), with a maximum recorded weight of 790 g (1.7 lb).

The redbreast sunfish’s diet can include insects, snails, and other small invertebrates.

A panfish popular with anglers, the redbreast sunfish is also kept as an aquarium fish by hobbyists.

As is typical for the sunfishes, the female redbreast sunfish lays her eggs (approximately 1000) in a substrate depression built by the male. The male guards the eggs and fry.

L. auritus has been transplanted to and become established in Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, sometimes with a harmful effect on native species.

The specific epithet, auritus, derives from the Latin auritus (big-eared).

Redbreast sunfish