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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Green Sunfish - Lepomis cyanellus

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Exotic Species (not native to Montana)

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 4


 

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General Description
The green sunfish is another marginal introduction found scattered in the lower Yellowstone and Little Missouri river drainages of southeastern Montana. They are hardy little fish, tolerating a wide range of temperature, turbidity, and oxygen levels in slow-moving streams, ponds, or lakes. Green sunfish in Montana seldom exceed 5 inches in length although they are readily caught on a variety of baits. The food of this species, as with the other sunfishes, is primarily insects, crustaceans, and small fishes.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Body robust. Gill rakers long and slender. Breeding males have light-colored fringe on dorsal, anal, and tail fins.

General Distribution
Montana Range

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Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 1314

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Relative Density

Recency

 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Slow-moving streams at lower elevations and shallows of lakes. Tolerates turbid water, high temperatures and low dissolved oxygen.

Food Habits
Aquatic insects, small crustaceans and fishes, and small amounts of plant material.

Ecology
Well suited to radically changing conditions found in prarie streams.

Reproductive Characteristics
Sexually mature at end of 2nd growing season. Spawns May - midsummer in shallow areas with clean bottom at 60 degrees F.

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Green Sunfish — Lepomis cyanellus.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=AFCQB11020
 
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