Enneacanthus chaetodon - (Baird, 1855)
Blackbanded Sunfish
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Enneacanthus chaetodon (Baird, 1855) (TSN 168108)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100892
Element Code: AFCQB10010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Sunfishes and Freshwater Basses
Image 1

© Noel Burkhead & Virginia Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries (Fishes of Virginia)

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Perciformes Centrarchidae Enneacanthus
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Enneacanthus chaetodon
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly placed in the monotypic genus MESOGONISTIUS. Populations in Florida/Georgia have been described as a distinct subspecies, but Sweeney (1972, Ph.D. diss., Boston Univ.) found those populations to be insufficiently differentiated for subspecific recognition (Lee et al. 1980).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 29Nov2011
Global Status Last Changed: 29Nov2011
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Occurs in many drainages mainly along the Atlantic Coast of the U.S.; declining in distribution and abundance primarily as a result of habitat loss and degradation.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4 (29Nov2011)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Delaware (S2), Florida (S3), Georgia (S1), Maryland (S1), New Jersey (S3), North Carolina (S3), Pennsylvania (SX), South Carolina (SNR), Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

American Fisheries Society Status: Vulnerable (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species occurs in North American Atlantic and Gulf slope drainages (primarily below the Fall Line) from New Jersey to central Florida, and west to the Flint River, Georgia; absent from several drainages within this range (Page and Burr 2011).

Area of Occupancy: 501-2,000 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Area of occupancy is uncertain but may be less than 2000 sq km.

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. Although blackbanded sunfish are common at some localities, they can be very localized with wide differences in abundance (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991, Jenkins and Burkhead 1994, Shute et al. 1981).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Potential threats include drying of ponds and swamps and contamination of water by pesticides (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Burkhead and Jenkins (1991) noted that the taking of individuals for aquaria could place populations in jeopardy in Virginia.

Rated as vulnerable by Warren et al. (2000) and Jelks et al. (2008), based on present or threatened destruction, modification, or reduction of habitat or range.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years (three generations is less than 10 years) is uncertain, but this species appears to be experiencing a continuing decline in area of occupancy, number of locations/subpopulations, and population size; the rate of decline is unknown. Surveys in 2002 and 2006 found this species in only one of six historical localities in Maryland; at the one locality the species was found in 3 of 17 quarry ponds (Kilian et al. 2009). Recent efforts to collect this species in Florida (where the species is represented by several historical records) were unsuccessful (Tate and Walsh 2005).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) This species occurs in North American Atlantic and Gulf slope drainages (primarily below the Fall Line) from New Jersey to central Florida, and west to the Flint River, Georgia; absent from several drainages within this range (Page and Burr 2011).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, NJ, PAextirpated, SC, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE Kent (10001), New Castle (10003)*, Sussex (10005)
FL Alachua (12001), Baker (12003)*, Jefferson (12065)*, Lake (12069)*, Marion (12083)*, Pasco (12101)*
GA Berrien (13019)*, Charlton (13049), Clinch (13065), Echols (13101), Irwin (13155), Thomas (13275), Turner (13287)*, Ware (13299)
MD Caroline (24011), Wicomico (24045)*
NC Bertie (37015)*, Bladen (37017), Brunswick (37019), Columbus (37047), Craven (37049)*, Cumberland (37051), Duplin (37061)*, Gates (37073), Harnett (37085)*, Hoke (37093), Johnston (37101)*, Lenoir (37107)*, Martin (37117)*, Montgomery (37123)*, Moore (37125), Nash (37127)*, New Hanover (37129), Pender (37141), Richmond (37153), Robeson (37155), Sampson (37163), Scotland (37165), Wayne (37191)*
PA Bucks (42017)*
SC Kershaw (45055), Lee (45061), Sumter (45085)
VA Prince George (51149), Surry (51181)*, Sussex (51183)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Raritan (02030105), Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105), Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+*, Lower Delaware (02040202), Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+*, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206), Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301), Great Egg Harbor (02040302), Chincoteague (02040303)+*, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)*, Choptank (02060005)+*, Blackwater-Wicomico (02060007), Nanticoke (02060008), Pocomoke (02060009)*, Chincoteague (02060010), Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+, Eastern Lower Delmarva (02080110)+*
03 Lower Roanoke (03010107)+, Nottoway (03010201)+, Blackwater (03010202)+, Ghowan (03010203)+, Albemarle (03010205), Upper Tar (03020101), Bogue-Core Sounds (03020106), Upper Neuse (03020201)+, Middle Neuse (03020202)+, Contentnea (03020203)+, Lower Neuse (03020204), New (03030001), Upper Cape Fear (03030004)+, Lower Cape Fear (03030005)+, Black (03030006)+, Northeast Cape Fear (03030007)+, Lower Pee Dee (03040201)+, Lynches (03040202)+, Lumber (03040203)+, Little Pee Dee (03040204)+, Black (03040205)+, Waccamaw (03040206)+, Carolina Coastal-Sampit (03040207), Wateree (03050104)+, Congaree (03050110), Lake Marion (03050111), North Fork Edisto (03050203), South Fork Edisto (03050204), Edisto (03050205), Four Hole Swamp (03050206), Salkehatchie (03050207), Broad-St. Helena (03050208), Middle Savannah (03060106), St. Marys (03070204)+, Upper St. Johns (03080101)+, Oklawaha (03080102)+, Tampa Bay (03100206), Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207)+, Aucilla (03110103)+, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+, Alapaha (03110202)+, Lower Suwannee (03110205), Middle Flint (03130006)
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: A deep bodied, extremely compressed fish with a small mouth, six black bars on each side (the first through the eye, the sixth on the caudal peduncle and often faint), and black-mottled dorsal, anal, and caudal fins; the first 2-3 membranes of the dorsal fin are black; dorsal fin has usually 10 spines and 11-12 rays, with the middle spines the longest; pelvic fins are pink to red at the front, black posterior to the red; dorsum is dusky yellow-gray; sides have yellow flecks; ear flap has a black spot; anal fin has 3 spines and 11-14 rays (usually 12-13); total length to 8 cm (Page and Burr 1991).
Reproduction Comments: March spawning has been observed in North Carolina. In Delaware, gravid females were found from early May to late June at water temperatures of 21-28 C (see Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). In Maryland, individuals lived 3-4 years, whereas in Delaware most females lived 2 years and males only 1 year, and in Virginia both sexes survived to age 3 (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This fish is largely restricted to quiet, shallow, heavily vegetated, nonturbid, darkly stained, slightly to very acidic waters of sand- and mud-bottomed creeks, small to medium rivers, ponds, lakes, and roadside drainage ditches (Shute et al. 1981, Jenkins and Burkhead 1994, P. W. Shute, pers. obs.). Sometimes it occurs in waters that are neutral or slightly alkaline .

Eggs are laid in nests made by males in weed beds, either on the substrate or in hollows made among plants (Cooper 1983, Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats various zooplankton, aquatic insects, and crustaceans associated with aquatic macrophytes; midge larvae are predominant food items in most localities (Cooper 1983).
Length: 7 centimeters
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: In Virginia, has been sold recently in pet stores, under the name "banded sunfish" (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Sunfishes (Centrarchids)

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary. Although members of this group vary in size and probably in typical movement distances, it is likely that even the smallest centrarchids occasionally disperse as far as do large centrarchids. Hence a single separation distance is used for all members of the family. Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.
Date: 25Jun2001
Author: Hammerson, G.
Notes: Note that some species some species may at time be hard to detect. For example, nowhere is the Carolina pygmy sunfish known to be abundant. In addition, it is essentially an annual species, with adults dying soon after spawning, at an age of 12-15 months. In addition, young are so small that, for a several months, documentation of the species' presence at a particular locality might be almost impossible, at least without preserving specimens. Therefore, negative data at a known locality should be carefully interpreted (P. Shute).
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 04Apr2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 29Nov2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Breder, C.M., Jr. and A.C. Redmond. 1929. The bluespotted sunfish: a contribution to the life history and habits of Enneacanthus with notes on other Lepominae. Zoologica 9(10): 379-401.

  • Burkhead, N. M., and R. E. Jenkins. 1991. Fishes. Pages 321-409 in K. Terwilliger (coordinator). Virginia's Endangered Species: Proceedings of a Symposium. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, Virginia.

  • Cooper, E.L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania. Penn State Univ. Press, University Park, PA.

  • HOLLY, MEINKEN, RACHOW. THE AQUARIEN FISCHE IN WORT UND BILD.

  • Jelks, H. L., S. J. Walsh, N. M. Burkhead, S. Contreras-Balderas, E. Díaz-Pardo, D. A. Hendrickson, J. Lyons, N. E. Mandrak, F. McCormick, J. S. Nelson, S. P. Platania, B. A. Porter, C. B. Renaud, J. Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, E. B. Taylor, and M.L. Warren, Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372-407.

  • Kilian, J. V., S. A. Stranko, R. L. Raesly, A. J. Becker, and P. Ciccotto. 2009. Enneacanthus chaetodon (blackbanded sunfish): an imperiled element of Maryland's Coastal Plain ichthyofauna. Southeastern Naturalist 8:267-276

  • Kilian, J.V. S.A. Stranko, R.L. Raesly, and A.J. Becker. 2006. Blackbanded Sunfish (Enneacanthus chaetodon): an Imperiled Element of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain Fish Fauna. MD DNR-MBSS, Annapolis. 15 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Page, LM, H.Espinoza-Perez, L.Findley, C.Gilbert, R. Lea, N. Mandrak, R.Mayden and J.Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, 7th edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • SCHEINBERG, A. 1968. THE CENTRARCHIDAE: NORTH AMERICAS RIVAL TO THE CICHLIDS. TROPICAL FISH HOBBYIST 16(9):12,84-89.

  • SCHWARTZ, F.J. 1961. FOOD, AGE, GROWTH, AND MORPHOLOGY OF THE BLACKBANDED SUNFISH, ENNEACANTHUS CHAETODON, IN SMITHVILLE POND, MARYLAND. CHESAPEAKE SCIENCE 2:82-88.

  • SCHWARTZ, F.J. 1964. SEVERAL MARYLAND FISHES ARE CLOSE TO EXTINCTION. MD CONSERVATIONIST 39(3):8-11.

  • Shute, J. R., P. W. Shute, and D. G. Lindquist. 1981. Fishes of the Waccamaw River drainage. Brimleyana (6):1-24.

  • Tate, W. B., and S. J. Walsh. 2005. Distribution and ecological requirements of the Okefenokee pygmy sunfish and the blackbanded sunfish in Florida. Final report. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, FL.

  • Warren, M. L., Jr., B. M. Burr, S. J. Walsh, H. L. Bart, Jr., R. C. Cashner, D. A. Etnier, B. J. Freeman, B. R. Kuhajda, R. L. Mayden, H. W. Robison, S. T. Ross, and W. C. Starnes. 2000. Diversity, distribution, and conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries 25(10):7-31.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Cooper, E. L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park. 243 pp.

  • Gilbert, C.R. (editor). 1992. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. xl + 247 pp.

  • Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. xxiii + 1079 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Marcy, B. C., Jr., D. E. Fletcher, F. D. Martin, M. H. Paller, and M.J.M. Reichert. 2005. Fishes of the middle Savannah River basin. University of Georgia Press, Athens. xiv + 460 pp.

  • Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996a. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

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