Longear sunfish feed nearer to the surface than other sunfish. They mostly eat aquatic insecta, small crustacea, actinopterygii eggs (including those of its own species), young micropterus, and young lepomis. They have been observed eating odonata and other insects, which touch the surface of the water. Other foods include detritus, Nematocera larvae, day diptera, gastropoda and Hirudinea.
Longear sunfish have also been seen following Hypentelium nigricans. As a northern hognose sucker moves along the bottom shoving pebbles around and picking them up with its mouth, longear sunfish will move along beside the sucker, picking around and feeding in the gravel after the sucker stirs it up.
Animal Foods: fish; eggs; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; mollusks; aquatic or marine worms
Other Foods: detritus
- Berra, T. 2001. Freshwater Fish Distribution. San Diego: Academic Press.
- Forbes, S., R. Richardson. 1920. The Fishes of Illinois. Danville: Published by Authority of the State of Illinois.
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