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Redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus)

Redear sunfish Common Names: Shellcracker, stumpknocker, cherry gill, sun perch, Georgia bream, chinquapin, rouge ear

Description: Spread by intentional stocking; aquarium releases; potential movement by anglers from stocked ponds.

Identification: 8 - 9.5 inches; hind end of gill flap is black with a white border and a red spot on the tip (hense the name); pan-shaped, like other sunfish; olive with darker spots and flecks of red; chest is yellowish to cream; small mouth (barely reaches eye).

Habitat: Native to the southeast and the Mississippi River basin. Found in ponds, marshes, lakes; mud or sand bottom; sluggish to slow-moving water in streams and rivers; water rich in vegetation and snags.


Impact and Damage: Introduction can result in the reduction of as much as 56 percent of the native pumpkinseed population and 69 percent of native snails. Competes with adult pumpkinseeds for snails (both species' main adult food) and can alter the diet of the pumpkinseed sunfish reducing its growth and abundance.

Monitoring and rapid response: Clean, drain, dry.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from "Invaders of the Great Lakes" produced by Wildlife Forever, the Sea Grant Great Lakes Network and the Ohio DNR.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Redear sunfish

Scientific Name:

Lepomis microlophus