Green Sunfish

Lepomis cyanellus

Photo of Lepomis cyanellus © Michael Plagens

This small green sunfish was found in Fish Creek, Superstition Mountains, Maricopa Co., Arizona.

Natural historians lament the folly of introducing non-native fish, such as the green sunfish in 1926, into the rare surface waters of the Sonoran Desert. This species, native to the Eastern North America, has invaded most rivers and small streams where it competes with Sonoran Desert natives such as longfin dace. Before native fish can be reintroduced into their original habitat these invaders must be removed, a lenghty and costly process. Then the streams must be barricaded to prevent the ubiquitous exotics from returning.

Centrarchidae -- Sunfish Family

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Sonoran Desert Field Guide
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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2008