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Temporal range: Middle Miocene to Recent
Lepomis auritus.jpg
Redbreast sunfish (L. auritus), the type species of the genus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Rafinesque, 1819
Type species
Labrus auritus
Linnaeus, 1758

Lepomis is a genus of freshwater fish in the sunfish family, Centrarchidae, in the order Perciformes. Perhaps the most recognizable species of this genus is the bluegill.

Some Lepomis species can grow to a maximum overall length of 41 cm (16 in), though most average around 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in). They are widely distributed throughout the lakes and rivers of the United States and Canada, and several species have been transplanted and flourished around the world, even becoming pests. Trade in some Lepomis species is prohibited in Germany for this reason.[1] Many are sought by anglers as panfish, and large numbers are bred to stock lakes, rivers, and tributaries.

Lepomis species are sometimes referred to as bream, but the term more properly refers to the similar-looking but unrelated European cypriniform fish of genus Abramis.

The generic name Lepomis derives from the Greek λεπίς (scale) and πώμα (cover, plug, operculum).

Fossil record[edit]

The Red-ear Sunfish is the first-known species of Centrarchidae based on fossil records, as old as 13.6 million years, dating back to the Middle Miocene.[2]


There are currently 13 recognized species in this genus:[3]

L. miniatus


  1. ^ Przybylski, Mirosław, and Grzegorz Zięba. "Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet." NOBANIS – Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet. NOBANIS. NOBANIS, 2011. Web. 5 Jan. 2015. Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet - Lepomis gibbosus
  2. ^ Centrarchidae (sunfish). Paleobiology Database.
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Lepomis in FishBase. February 2013 version.

External links[edit]