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Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus

 

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Bluegill
credit: Eric Engbretson

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Family: Centrarchidae, Sunfishes view all from this family



Description The Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is a species of freshwater fish sometimes referred to as bream, brim, or copper nose. It is a member of the sunfish family Centrarchidae of the order Perciformes.

The bluegill or bluegulli occurs naturally in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains from coastal Virginia to Florida, west to Texas and northern Mexico, and north from western Minnesota to western New York. Today they have been transported most everywhere else in North America, and have also been introduced into Europe, South Africa, Asia, South America, and Oceania. Bluegill have also been found in the Chesapeake Bay, indicating they can tolerate up to 1.8% salinity. In some locations where they have been transplanted, they are considered pests: trade in the species is prohibited in Germany and Japan. In the case of Japan, bluegill were presented to the then-crown prince, Akihito in 1960 as a gift by Richard J. Daley, mayor of Chicago. The prince, in turn, donated the fish to fishery research agencies in Japan from which they escaped, becoming an invasive species which has wreaked havoc with native species, specifically in Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. The emperor has since apologized.


Dimensions Up to 12" (30 cm); 4 3/4 lbs (2.2 kg).


Habitat Lakes & ponds, Rivers & streams.


Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, Florida, Texas, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada.


 

 

 

2007 eNature.com