Overview

Comprehensive Description

Lepomis gibbosus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Inland water: 31100-666 (1 spc.), 29.06.1998 , Gala Lake , Edirne , M. Ôzulug .

  • Nurettin Meriç, Lütfiye Eryilmaz, Müfit Özulug (2007): A catalogue of the fishes held in the Istanbul University, Science Faculty, Hydrobiology Museum. Zootaxa 1472, 29-54: 44-44, URL:http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:428F3980-C1B8-45FF-812E-0F4847AF6786
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Biology

Inhabits vegetated lakes and ponds, as well as vegetated pools of creeks and small rivers (Ref. 5723). An introduced species in Europe which avoids swift waters and occurs in estuaries with a salinity up to 18.2 ppt (Ref. 59043). Feeds on small fishes and other vertebrates (Ref. 1998), as well as fish eggs (Ref. 2058). Reported in Europe to prey on a wide variety of invertebrates (Ref. 59043). Considered undesirable catch (Ref. 30578).
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Native to much of Atlantic slope from New Brunswick to Edisto River, South Carolina; Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and upper Mississippi basins from Quebec and New York to southeastern Manitoba and North Dakota, and south to northern Kentucky and Missouri drainage; common (Page and Burr 1991). Widely introduced in western U.S., southern Canada, and Europe.

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Range Description

Native to much of Atlantic slope from New Brunswick to Edisto River, South Carolina; Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and upper Mississippi basins from Quebec and New York to southeastern Manitoba and North Dakota, and south to northern Kentucky and Missouri drainage; common (Page and Burr 1991). Widely introduced in western U.S., southern Canada, and Europe.
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Geographic Range

Pumpkinseeds, Lepomis_gibbosus, are found natively in the Atlantic Slope drainages from New Brunswick to the Edisto River in South Carolina and also in the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and upper Mississippi basins from Quebec and New York west to southeastern Manitoba and North Dakota, and south to northern Kentucky and Missouri.

This species has also been widely introduced in Europe, Africa, and South America, as well as other areas of North America.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced , Native ); palearctic (Introduced ); ethiopian (Introduced ); neotropical (Introduced )

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Canada and U.S.A., introduced elsewhere.
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North America: New Brunswick in Canada to South Carolina in the USA; Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and upper Mississippi basins from Quebec and New York west to southeast Manitoba and North Dakota, and south to north Kentucky and Missouri. Widely introduced. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
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Geographic Range

Pumpkinseeds, Lepomis gibbosus, are found natively in the Atlantic Slope drainages from New Brunswick to the Edisto River in South Carolina and also in the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and upper Mississippi basins from Quebec and New York west to southeastern Manitoba and North Dakota, and south to northern Kentucky and Missouri.

This species has also been widely introduced in Europe, Africa, and South America, as well as other areas of North America.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced , Native ); palearctic (Introduced ); ethiopian (Introduced ); neotropical (Introduced )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Pumpkinseeds are deep-bodied and laterally compressed. They have brassy yellow to olive green sides that are densely covered with spots of bright copper or gold. The opercle flap has a distinctive crimson spot in a half-moon shape on the rear edge in adults. In young pumpkinseeds a pale spot on the opercle flap distinguishes them from other Centrarchidae.

Etnier and Starnes (1993) describe pumpkinseeds as having: lateral line scales 35 to 43, dorsal fin with 10 (10 to 11) soft rays, anal fin soft rays 9 to 10, pectoral fin rays 13 (12 to 14).

Young pumpkinseeds also have vertical chainlike bands down their sides with dark vertical bars between the primary bands. These help to differentiate them from other sunfishes. Lepomis_gibbosus are most easily confused with redear sunfish, L._microlophus and bluegills, L._macrochirus.

Range mass: 620 (high) g.

Average mass: 171-286 g.

Range length: 254 (high) mm.

Average length: 152-203 mm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

  • Etnier, D., W. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. Knoxville: The University of Tennesse Press.
  • Smith, P. 1979. The Fishes of Illinois. Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
  • Downs, W., L. Wiland, E. White, S. Wittman. 2002. "University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute Fish of the Great Lakes" (On-line). Accessed October 26, 2005 at http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/greatlakesfish/fpumpkinseed.html.
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Dorsal spines (total): 10 - 12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 - 12; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 8 - 11; Vertebrae: 28 - 30
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Physical Description

Pumpkinseeds are deep-bodied and laterally compressed. They have brassy yellow to olive green sides that are densely covered with spots of bright copper or gold. The opercle flap has a distinctive crimson spot in a half-moon shape on the rear edge in adults. In young pumpkinseeds a pale spot on the opercle flap distinguishes them from other Centrarchidae.

Etnier and Starnes (1993) describe pumpkinseeds as having: lateral line scales 35 to 43, dorsal fin with 10 (10 to 11) soft rays, anal fin soft rays 9 to 10, pectoral fin rays 13 (12 to 14).

Young pumpkinseeds also have vertical chainlike bands down their sides with dark vertical bars between the primary bands. These help to differentiate them from other sunfishes. Lepomis gibbosus are most easily confused with redear sunfish, L. microlophus and bluegills, L. macrochirus.

Range mass: 620 (high) g.

Average mass: 171-286 g.

Range length: 254 (high) mm.

Average length: 152-203 mm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

  • Etnier, D., W. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. Knoxville: The University of Tennesse Press.
  • Smith, P. 1979. The Fishes of Illinois. Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
  • Downs, W., L. Wiland, E. White, S. Wittman. 2002. "University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute Fish of the Great Lakes" (On-line). Accessed October 26, 2005 at http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/greatlakesfish/fpumpkinseed.html.
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Size

Length: 40 cm

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Maximum size: 400 mm TL
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Max. size

40.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723)); max. published weight: 630 g (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 12 years (Ref. 72493)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: Lakes, reservoirs, ponds, sloughs, and sluggish streams; prefers quiet, clear water with aquatic vegetation and some organic debris. May occur in large numbers in shallow sheltered situations. Eggs are laid in a nest constructed by the male in shallow water (less than 1 m deep) in bottoms of sand, gravel, or woody debris.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Lakes, reservoirs, ponds, sloughs, and sluggish streams; prefers quiet, clear water with aquatic vegetation and some organic debris. May occur in large numbers in shallow sheltered situations. Eggs are laid in a nest constructed by the male in shallow water (less than 1 m deep) in bottoms of sand, gravel, or woody debris.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Pumpkinseeds are freshwater fishes, like other members of the sunfish family, Centrarchidae. They prefer cool to moderately warm, clear water that is 1 to 2 m deep in areas with lots of vegetation for cover. The ideal water temperature for pumpkinseeds ranges from 21 to 24 degrees Celsius.

Average depth: 1 to 2 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; freshwater

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds; rivers and streams

Wetlands: marsh

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Environment

benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: 10 - 15
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Pumpkinseeds are freshwater fishes, like other members of the sunfish family, Centrarchidae. They prefer cool to moderately warm, clear water that is 1 to 2 m deep in areas with lots of vegetation for cover. The ideal water temperature for pumpkinseeds ranges from 21 to 24 degrees Celsius.

Average depth: 1 to 2 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; freshwater

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds; rivers and streams

Wetlands: marsh

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Depth range based on 226 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.055 - 11.5

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.055 - 11.5
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Eats snails, aquatic insects, and other invertebrates obtained from bottom or from plant surfaces; pharyngeal jaws are specialized for crushing hard-shelled prey; larvae eat zooplankton (Moyle 1976, Becker 1983).

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Food Habits

Pumpkinseeds consume a diverse diet of small prey including insects, insect larvae, mollusks, snails, crustaceans, leeches, and small fish. They are effective at destroying mosquito larvae and also consume detritus and small amounts of aquatic vegetation.

Lepomis gibbosus feed at all water levels throughout the day, with their heaviest feeding occurring during the afternoon.

Animal Foods: fish; eggs; insects; mollusks; terrestrial worms; aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton

Plant Foods: leaves; algae

Other Foods: detritus

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Occurs in quiet and vegetated lakes, ponds, and pools of creeks and small rivers. Feeds mainly on worms, crustaceans and insects (Ref. 7020) but may also feed on small fishes and other vertebrates (Ref. 1998), as well as fish eggs (Ref. 2058).
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Food Habits

Pumpkinseeds consume a diverse diet of small prey including insects, insect larvae, mollusks, snails, crustaceans, leeches, and small fish. They are effective at destroying mosquito larvae and also consume detritus and small amounts of aquatic vegetation.

L. gibbosus feed at all water levels throughout the day, with their heaviest feeding occurring during the afternoon.

Animal Foods: fish; eggs; insects; mollusks; terrestrial worms; aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton

Plant Foods: leaves; algae

Other Foods: detritus

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore , Molluscivore )

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Pumpkinseeds are a vital intermediate link in the food chain. They are an important prey species for birds and larger fish predators. They also impact the insect populations through consumption.

Pumpkinseeds are considered a pest in many areas where they have been introduced. Several countries have reported an adverse ecological impact after their introduction. Pumpkinseeds hybridize readily with most other Lepomis, especially with Lepomis macrochirus and Lepomis cyanellus. The result is hybrids that are fast-growing, sterile males. This causes overcrowding and stunted growth in endemic species.

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Predation

Pumpkinseeds inhabit dense vegetation to remain hidden from predators. Spines of the dorsal fins and anal fins on pumpkinseeds are spread out when they perceive danger, thus making them harder to swallow.

Known predators of pumpkinseeds include Stizostedion_vitreum (walleye), Micropterus_salmoides (largemouth bass), Perca_flavescens (yellow perch), Esox_lucius (northern pike), Esox_masquinongy (muskellunge), Amia_calva (bowfin), Anguilla_rostrata (American eel), other muskies (Esox), other sunfish (Centrarchidae), including other pumpkinseeds, mergansers (Lophodytes and Mergus), cormorants (Phalacrocorax), herons (Ardeidae), and humans (Homo_sapiens).

Known Predators:

  • Stizostedion_vitreum (walleye)
  • Micropterus_salmoides (largemouth bass)
  • Perca_flavescens (yellow perch)
  • Esox_lucius (northern pike)
  • Esox_masquinongy (muskellunge)
  • other muskies (Esox)
  • Amia_calva (bowfin)
  • Anguilla_rostrata (American eel)
  • other sunfish (Centrarchidae), including other pumpkinseeds
  • mergansers (Lophodytes and Mergus)
  • cormorants (Phalacrocorax)
  • herons (Ardeidae)
  • humans (Homo_sapiens)

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Ecosystem Roles

Pumpkinseeds are a vital intermediate link in the food chain. They are an important prey species for birds and larger fish predators. They also impact the insect populations through consumption.

Pumpkinseeds are considered a pest in many areas where they have been introduced. Several countries have reported an adverse ecological impact after their introduction. Pumpkinseeds hybridize readily with most other Lepomis, especially with bluegill and green sunfish. The result is hybrids that are fast-growing, sterile males. This causes overcrowding and stunted growth in endemic species.

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Predation

Pumpkinseeds inhabit dense vegetation to remain hidden from predators. Spines of the dorsal fins and anal fins on pumpkinseeds are spread out when they perceive danger, thus making them harder to swallow.

Known predators of pumpkinseeds include Sander vitreus (walleye), Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass), Perca flavescens (yellow perch), Esox lucius (northern pike), Esox masquinongy (muskellunge), Amia calva (bowfin), Anguilla rostrata (American eel), other muskies (Esox), other sunfish (Centrarchidae), including other pumpkinseeds, mergansers (Lophodytes and Mergus), cormorants (Phalacrocorax), herons (Ardeidae), and humans (Homo sapiens).

Known Predators:

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Known predators

Lepomis gibbosus (Lepomis gibbosus (pumpkinseed sunfish)) is prey of:
Salvelinus fontinalis

Based on studies in:
USA: New York, Bridge Brook (Lake or pond)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Havens K (1992) Scale and structure in natural food webs. Science 257:1107–1109
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Known prey organisms

  • Havens K (1992) Scale and structure in natural food webs. Science 257:1107–1109
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: This species is represented by a large number of subpopulations and locations.

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Global Abundance

>1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but very large.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Male pumpkinseeds change color during breeding season so it would appear that visual cues are important to either other males or females.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile

Perception Channels: visual

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Communication and Perception

Male pumpkinseeds change color during breeding season so it would appear that visual cues are important to either other males or females.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile

Perception Channels: visual

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Life Cycle

Development

At 28 degrees Celsius the eggs of pumpkinseeds hatch in as little as three days. The normal range for eggs to hatch is 3 to 10 days. The newly hatched larvae are tiny and transparent. The eyes do not have any pigment in the first 48 hours after the larvae have hatched. They remain at the bottom of the nest for a short time. Male pumpkinseeds continue to guard larvae against predators for around 11 days when they become free-swimming. When they leave the nest the juvenile fish stay in or near the breeding area and can grow to around 50.8 mm in the first year of life. Pumpkinseeds usually reach sexual maturity at age 2.

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Males build the nest on very shallow waters near the shore. The pair then swims in a circular path over the nest and eggs and sperm is released in intervals. The male guards the eggs and the young (to about 11 days after hatching), then prepares the nest for another spawning with the same or different females (Ref. 1998). In European waters, each male may spawn with several females in one nest and guard the nest until abandoned by larvae (Ref. 59043). Produces up to 1000 eggs (Ref. 1672).
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Development

At 28 degrees Celsius the eggs of pumpkinseeds hatch in as little as three days. The normal range for eggs to hatch is 3 to 10 days. The newly hatched larvae are tiny and transparent. The eyes do not have any pigment in the first 48 hours after the larvae have hatched. They remain at the bottom of the nest for a short time. Male pumpkinseeds continue to guard larvae against predators for around 11 days when they become free-swimming. When they leave the nest the juvenile fish stay in or near the breeding area and can grow to around 50.8 mm in the first year of life. Pumpkinseeds usually reach sexual maturity at age 2.

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Pumpkinseeds typically live 5 to 6 years but have reached 12 years old in captivity. In the wild, however, most do not exceed 8 years old.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
8 years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
12 (high) years.

Typical lifespan

Status: wild:
5 to 6 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
5-6 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
13.0 years.

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Lifespan/Longevity

Pumpkinseeds typically live 5 to 6 years but have reached 12 years old in captivity. In the wild, however, most do not exceed 8 years old.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
8 years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
12 (high) years.

Typical lifespan

Status: wild:
5 to 6 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
5-6 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
13.0 years.

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Reproduction

Spawns in spring and summer; eggs hatch in about 3-5 days; male guards eggs; sexually mature in 2nd or 3rd year; may nest in colonies (Moyle 1976).

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Male pumpkinseeds will defend their nests agressively against other fish by spreading their opercula, charging, biting, chasing, and on occasion, they will mouth-fight. Females come in from deeper waters and at first appear to be chased away from the nest but, after a considerable amount of chasing, the male attempts to drive her into his nest and the female will approach the nest.

When the male pumpkinseed gets the female in his nest they will swim in a circular path above the nest with their bellies touching. The male releases milt and the female releases her eggs at intervals and fertilization occurs. Female pumpkinseeds can spawn in more than one nest. Also more than one female can use the same nest. Occasionally two females will spawn with a male at the same time.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Spawning occurs when water is between 13 to 28 degrees Celsius, during late spring to late summer, depending on location. A female between 2 to 5 years of age can produce anywhere from 4000 to 7000 eggs in a single season and a male will breed several times (every 11 days or so) through the season.

Male pumpkinseeds build a nest in very shallow weedy bays of lakes or near the shore of runs and pools of streams in colonies of 3 to 15 nest sites. Pumpkinseeds maintain larger territories than Lepomis macrochirus but they will sometimes build their nests among Lepomis macrochirus and other sunfish nests and the different species will interbreed. Average pumpkinseed nests are around 30 cm in diameter and 5 to 7 cm deep.

Eggs can hatch in 3 days at 28 degrees Celsius. After hatching, the larvae will stay around 5 days in the nest, getting their nutrients from the yolk sac. When the larvae are able to self-feed they have a fully developed mouth and partially developed fins. The pelvic fins are the last to complete development. Pumpkinseeds reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age.

Breeding interval: The male will continue to spawn every 11 days or so through the breeding season.

Breeding season: Spawning and nesting occurs anywhere from April to August depending on location.

Average number of offspring: 600 to 3000 eggs.

Average time to hatching: 3 - 10 days.

Average time to independence: 10 - 11 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); broadcast (group) spawning; oviparous

Male pumpkinseeds guard and defend the nest until the fry have hatched and dispersed. Sometimes one male will guard two nests by moving back and forth between them. He will fan the nest with his fins to keep it clean and well-oxygenated until the larvae are able to feed on their own (usually around 10 to 11 days). Male pumpkinseeds will even return the fry to the nest in his mouth if they stray.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Protecting: Male, Female); pre-hatching/birth (Protecting: Male); pre-weaning/fledging (Protecting: Male); pre-independence (Protecting: Male)

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Male pumpkinseeds will defend their nests agressively against other fish by spreading their opercula, charging, biting, chasing, and on occasion, they will mouth-fight. Females come in from deeper waters and at first appear to be chased away from the nest but, after a considerable amount of chasing, the male attempts to drive her into his nest and the female will approach the nest.

When the male pumpkinseed gets the female in his nest they will swim in a circular path above the nest with their bellies touching. The male releases milt and the female releases her eggs at intervals and fertilization occurs. Female pumpkinseeds can spawn in more than one nest. Also more than one female can use the same nest. Occasionally two females will spawn with a male at the same time.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Spawning occurs when water is between 13 to 28 degrees Celsius, during late spring to late summer, depending on location. A female between 2 to 5 years of age can produce anywhere from 4000 to 7000 eggs in a single season and a male will breed several times (every 11 days or so) through the season.

Male pumpkinseeds build a nest in very shallow weedy bays of lakes or near the shore of runs and pools of streams in colonies of 3 to 15 nest sites. Pumpkinseeds maintain larger territories than bluegill but they will sometimes build their nests among bluegill and other sunfish nests and the different species will interbreed. Average pumpkinseed nests are around 30 cm in diameter and 5 to 7 cm deep.

Eggs can hatch in 3 days at 28 degrees Celsius. After hatching, the larvae will stay around 5 days in the nest, getting their nutrients from the yolk sac. When the larvae are able to self-feed they have a fully developed mouth and partially developed fins. The pelvic fins are the last to complete development. Pumpkinseeds reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age.

Breeding interval: The male will continue to spawn every 11 days or so through the breeding season.

Breeding season: Spawning and nesting occurs anywhere from April to August depending on location.

Average number of offspring: 600 to 3000 eggs.

Average time to hatching: 3 - 10 days.

Average time to independence: 10 - 11 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); broadcast (group) spawning; oviparous

Male pumpkinseeds guard and defend the nest until the fry have hatched and dispersed. Sometimes one male will guard two nests by moving back and forth between them. He will fan the nest with his fins to keep it clean and well-oxygenated until the larvae are able to feed on their own (usually around 10 to 11 days). Male pumpkinseeds will even return the fry to the nest in his mouth if they stray.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Protecting: Male, Female); pre-hatching/birth (Protecting: Male); pre-weaning/fledging (Protecting: Male); pre-independence (Protecting: Male)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lepomis gibbosus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 40
Specimens with Barcodes: 102
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Lepomis gibbosus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 29 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CCTCTATTTAGTATTTGGTGCATGGGCCGGAATGGTGGGCACAGCTTTAAGCCTACTTATTCGAGCAGAGCTCAGTCAACCCGGCGCCCTCCTTGGGGATGACCAAATTTATAACGTAATTGTTACGGCTCATGCTTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATAATTGGAGGCTTTGGCAACTGACTCGTCCCACTAATAATTGGCGCCCCCGATATAGCATTCCCCCGAATGAACAACATAAGTTTTTGACTTCTCCCCCCTTCTTTCCTCCTCCTTCTCGCCTCCTCTGGGGTCGAAGCGGGGGCTGGCACGGGCTGAACCGTTTATCCCCCTCTCGCCGGCAACCTAGCCCACGCCGGAGCATCCGTTGATCTCACTATTTTCTCCTTGCATCTTGCAGGGGTTTCTTCAATTTTAGGGGCAATTAATTTCATCACCACAATCATCAATATAAAACCCCCTGCCATTTCCCAATACCAGACACCACTGTTTGTCTGGTCCGTATTAATCACTGCAGTTTTACTTCTGCTCTCCCTCCCAGTCCTTGCTGCAGGGATTACTATGCTCCTCACGGATCGCAATCTTAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCGGCAGGAGGCGGGGATCCCATCCTCTACCAACATCTGTTT
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
NatureServe

Reviewer/s
Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations, large population size, and lack of major threats. Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable, or the species may be declining but not fast enough to qualify for any of the threatened categories under Criterion A (reduction in population size).
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Pumpkinseeds are common and abundant in suitable habitat, populations are not considered at risk.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: no special status

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

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Pumpkinseeds are common and abundant in suitable habitat, populations are not considered at risk.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

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Population

Population
This species is represented by a large number of subpopulations and locations.

Total adult population size is unknown but very large.

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable or slowly declining.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Comments: Localized threats may exist, but on a range-wide scale no major threats are known.

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Major Threats
Localized threats may exist, but on a range-wide scale no major threats are known.
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Not Evaluated
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Pumpkinseeds cause no known negative economic impact.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Pumpkinseeds have little economic importance. They are aggressive feeders and readily bite at most bait. This, paired with their excellent flavor, causes people to consider them a good 'panfish.' However, experienced anglers often throw them back due to their small size.

The species can be successfully kept in aquariums and may, therefore, be kept as pets or used for lab experiments as well.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food

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Importance

fisheries: subsistence fisheries; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
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Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Pumpkinseeds cause no known negative economic impact.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Pumpkinseeds have little economic importance. They are aggressive feeders and readily bite at most bait. This, paired with their excellent flavor, causes people to consider them a good 'panfish.' However, experienced anglers often throw them back due to their small size.

The species can be successfully kept in aquariums and may, therefore, be kept as pets or used for lab experiments as well.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food

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Wikipedia

Pumpkinseed

This article is about the fish. For the edible seed of a pumpkin, see Pepita.

The pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) is a freshwater fish of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. It is also referred to as pond perch, common sunfish, punkys, sunfish, and sunny.

Range and distribution[edit]

The pumpkinseed’s natural range in North America is from New Brunswick down the east coast to South Carolina. It then runs inland to the middle of North America, and extends through Iowa and back through Pennsylvania. Pumpkinseed sunfish have however been introduced throughout most of North America. They can now be found from Washington and Oregon on the Pacific Coast to Georgia on the Atlantic Coast. Yet they are primarily found in the northeastern United States and more rarely in the south-central or southwestern region of the continent.[1]

In Europe, the pumpkinseed is considered an invasive species. They were introduced to European waters, and could outcompete existing fish.[2]

Physical description[edit]

Pumpkinseeds typically are 6-8 inches in length, but can grow up to 10 inches. They typically weigh less than 1 pound, with the world record being 1 pound 6 ounces.[citation needed] They are orange, green, yellow or blue in color, with speckles over their sides and back and a yellow-orange breast and belly. The coloration of the ctenoid scales of the pumpkinseed is one of the most vibrant of any freshwater fish and can range from an olive-green or brown to bright orange and blue. The sides are covered with vertical bars that are a faint green or blue, which are typically more prevalent in female pumpkinseeds. Orange spots may cover the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins and the cheeks have blue lines across them. The pumpkinseed is noted for the orange-red spot on the margin of its black gill cover. The pectoral fins of a pumpkinseed can be amber or clear, while the dorsal spines are black. Pumpkinseeds have a small body that is shaped much like that of a pumpkinseed, giving them their common name. They have a small mouth with an upper jaw stopping right under the eye.[3]

Pumpkinseeds are very similar to the bluegill, and are often found in the same habitats. One difference between the two species is their opercular flap. The flap is black in both species, but the pumpkinseed has a crimson spot in the shape of a halfmoon on the back portion of its opercular flap. Pumpkinseeds have seven or eight vertical, irregular bands on their sides that are duller in color compared to the bluegill.[4]

Habitat[edit]

Pumpkinseeds typically live in warm, calm lakes, ponds, and pools of creeks and small rivers with plenty of vegetation. They prefer clear water where they can find shelter to hide. They tend to stay near the shore and can be found in numbers within shallow and protected areas. Pumpkinseeds are active during the day and rest near the bottom in protected or covered areas such as submerged logs during the night. They will feed at all water levels from the surface to the bottom in the daylight, and their heaviest feeding will be in the afternoon. Pumpkinseed sunfish usually travel together in schools that can also include bluegills and other sunfish.[5]

Pumpkinseeds are more tolerant of low oxygen levels than bluegills are, but less tolerant of warm water. Groups of young fish school close to shore, but adults tend to travel in groups of two to four in slightly deeper yet still covered waters. Pumpkinseeds are active throughout the day, but they rest at night near the bottom or in protected areas in rocks or near submerged logs.

Dietary habits[edit]

Pumpkinseeds feed on a variety of small food both at the surface of the water and at the bottom. Among their favorites are insects, mosquito larvae, small molluscs and other crustaceans, worms, minnow fry, and even other smaller pumpkinseeds. Occasionally, they feed on small pieces of vegetation, as well. The pumpkinseed sunfish has a terminal mouth, allowing it to open at the anterior end of the snout.[1]

Pumpkinseed sunfish that live in waters with larger gastropods have larger mouths and associated muscles to crack the shells of the larger gastropods.[6]

Human importance[edit]

The pumpkinseed sunfish are typically very likely to bite on a worm, which makes them easy to catch while fishing. Many anglers consider the pumpkinseed to be a nuisance fish, as it bites so easily and frequently when the fisherman is attempting to catch something else. The pumpkinseeds are very popular with young fishermen due to their willingness to bite on worms, their abundance, and their close locations to the shore. Although many people consider the meat of a pumpkinseed to be good tasting, it is typically not a popular sport fish due to its small size.[1]

Because they tend to remain in the shallows and feed all day, pumpkinseeds are relatively easy to catch from shore. They will bite at most bait—including garden worms, insects, leeches, or bits of fish. They will also take small artificial lures and can be fished for with a fly rod with wet flies or dry flies. They will also hit at grubs early in the winter, but are less active from mid- to late winter. They may be easy to catch and popular with the youngest anglers, but pumpkinseeds are often sought by adults, as well. The fish do put up an aggressive fight on line, and they have an excellent flavor and are low in fat and high in protein.[7]

Conservation status[edit]

The pumpkinseed sunfish is very common and is not listed in IUCN status or CITES Appendix. Spawning grounds of the pumpkinseeds can be disturbed by shoreline development and shoreline erosion from heavy lake use. Their susceptibility to silt and pollution makes the pumpkinseed a good indicator of the cleanliness and health of water.[5]

Reproduction and life cycle[edit]

Once water temperatures reach 55-63°F in the late spring or early summer, the male pumpkinseeds will begin to build nests. Nesting sites are typically in shallow water on sand or gravel lake bottoms. The males will use their caudal fins to sweep out shallow, oval-shaped nesting holes that stretch about twice the length of the pumpkinseed itself. The fish will remove debris and large rocks from their nests with their mouths.

Nests are arranged in colonies consisting of about three to 15 nests each. Often, pumpkinseeds build their nests near bluegill colonies, and the two species interbreed. Male pumpkinseeds are vigorous and aggressive, and defend their nests by spreading their opercula. Because of this aggressive behavior, pumpkinseeds tend to maintain larger territories than bluegills.

Females arrive after the nests are completed, coming in from deeper waters. The male then releases milt and the female releases eggs. Females may spawn in more than one nest, and more than one female may use the same nest. Also, more than one female will spawn with a male in one nest simultaneously. Females are able produce 1,500 to 1,700 eggs, depending on their size and age.

Once released, the eggs stick to gravel, sand, or other debris in the nest, and they hatch in as few as three days. Females leave the nest immediately after spawning, but males remain and guard their offspring. The male guards them for about the first 11 days, returning them to the nest in his mouth if they stray from the nesting site.

The young fish stay on or near the shallow breeding area and grow to about 2 inches in their first year. Sexual maturity is usually achieved by age two. Pumpkinseeds have lived to be 12 years old in captivity, but in nature most do not exceed six to eight years old.[8]

Adaptations[edit]

A young pumpkinseed with visible spines and gill plates

The pumpkinseed sunfish has adapted in many ways to the surroundings where it lives. Its skin reflects camouflage for its habitat. The pattern that appears on the pumpkinseed resembles that of the sunlight patterns that reflect on the shallow water of bays and river beds.

The pumpkinseed sunfish has developed a specific method of protection. Along the dorsal fin are 10 to 11 spines, and three additional spines on the anal fin. These spines are very sharp, which aid the fish in defense. The pumpkinseed has the ability to anticipate approaching predators (or prey) via a lateral line system, allowing it to detect changes or movements in the water using different mechanical receptors.

The brightly colored gill plates of the pumpkinseed sunfish also serve as a method of protection and dominance. Also known as an eye spot, the dark patch at the posterior of the gill plate provides the illusion that the eye of the fish is larger and positioned further back on the body, thus making the fish seem up to four times larger than it actually is. When a pumpkinseed feels threatened by a predator, it flares its gills to make it seem larger in size, and shows off the flashy red coloration. Males of the species also flare their gills in the spring spawning season in a show of dominance and territoriality.

In the southernmost regions of its distribution, the pumpkinseed has developed a larger mouth opening and abnormally large jaw muscles to aid in feeding; its forage is small crustaceans and mollusks. The larger bite radius and enhanced jaw muscles allow the pumpkinseed to crack the shells of their prey to attain the soft flesh within, thus providing one common name of 'shellcracker'.[6]

Etymology[edit]

Lepomis, in Greek, means 'scaled gill cover' and gobbosus means 'wide margin'. The defining characteristic of a pumpkinseed sunfish is the bright orange spot at the tip of the ear flap. The pumpkinseed sunfish is widely recognized by its shape of a pumpkinseed, from which its common name comes.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis)." Discover the Outdoors. Web. 30, April.<http://www.dto.com/fwfishing/speciesProfile/325>
  2. ^ Leppakoski, Erkki. Invasive aquatic species of Europe: distribution, impacts, and management. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1998. The Netherlands. 156-162.
  3. ^ Rook, Earl. Lepomis gibbosus Pumpkinseed Sunfish. Web. 30,April.<http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/fish/lepomisgib.html>
  4. ^ "Pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus." University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. Web. 03, May.<http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/greatlakesfish/fpumpkinseed.html>
  5. ^ a b "Fishes of Minnesota: Pumpkinseed: Minnesota DNA." Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Minnesota DNR. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fish/sunfish/biology.html>
  6. ^ a b Mittelbach, Gary et al. 1999. Variation in feeding morphology between pumpkinseed populations: Phenotypic plasticity or evolution? Evolutionary Ecology Research. (1): 111-128.
  7. ^ Rook, Earl. Lepomis gibbosus Pumpkinseed Sunfish. Web. 30, April.<http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/fish/lepomisgib.html>
  8. ^ Danylchuk, AJ. 1994. Seasonal reproductive patterns of pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) populations with varying body size characteristics. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Vol 51 (3): 490-500.
  9. ^ Accurate and Reliable Dictionary. Web. 03, May. <http://ardictionary.com/Lepomis_gibbosus>
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Though the gender of the name LEPOMIS is feminine (see Bailey and Robins, 1988, Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 45(2):100), the 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991) retained the masculine ending for GIBBOSUS and other species, pending a vote by the ICZN on a petition (by Etnier and Warren) to treat LEPOMIS as masculine for nomenclatural purposes.

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