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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 7:54 EDT

Pygmy sunfish

Elassoma Jordan is a genus of freshwater fish and the only member of family Elassomatidae and suborder Elassomatoidei of order Perciformes. The type species is E. zonata, the banded pygmy sunfish. The Elassomatidae are known collectively as pygmy sunfishes, but are not true sunfishes, which are members of family Centrarchidae.

The pygmy sunfish grows to a maximum overall length of roughly 1.25″“1.5 in (3″“4 cm).

They occur mostly in temperate and subtropical swamps, marshes, and other shallow, slow-moving, and heavily-vegetated waters, across an area of the American South stretching from the Carolinas to Alabama and down into southern Florida. One species, the bluebarred pygmy sunfish (E. okatie) is considered Vulnerable.

Unlike many of the true sunfishes, the pygmy sunfishes are not popular game fish because of their size. They are, however, often kept as aquarium fish by hobbyists, especially in Europe.

Pygmy sunfish