Lepomis auritus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Redbreast Sunfish
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lepomis auritus (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 168131)
French Common Names: crapet rouge
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101339
Element Code: AFCQB11010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Sunfishes and Freshwater Basses
Image 85

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

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Perciformes Centrarchidae Lepomis
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 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: Lepomis auritus
Taxonomic Comments: Though the gender of the name Lepomis is feminine (see Bailey and Robins, 1988, Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 45(2):100), the 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991) retained the masculine ending for auritus and other species, pending a vote by the ICZN on a petition (by Etnier and Warren) to treat Lepomis as masculine for nomenclatural purposes.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 23Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Dec1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (04Dec2017)

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 Alabama (S5), Arkansas (SNA), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S4), District of Columbia (S5), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SU), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (S4), Mississippi (SNA), New Hampshire (S4), New Jersey (S5), New York (S3), North Carolina (S5), Oklahoma (SNA), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (S3), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Texas (SNA), Vermont (S4), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5)
Canada New Brunswick (S4)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Data Deficient (25Apr2008)
Comments on COSEWIC: Insufficient information to determine actual distribution, number of locations, and population sizes and trends.
Designated Special Concern in April 1989. Species considered in April 2008 and placed in the Data Deficient category.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Native range encompasses the Atlantic Slope from New Brunswick south to central Florida, and west on the Gulf Slope to Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee drainages, Florida and Georgia. This species has been introduced in Gulf drainages as far west as the Rio Grande and in the Mississippi River basin as far north as Kentucky and Arkansas (Page and Burr 1991). See Houston (1990) for information on occurrence in Canada.

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

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 100,00. This fish is locally common.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known. Dams and pollution presumably have caused local declines.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably are relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: As a result of introductions, the range extent, area of occupancy, and number of subpopulations may be larger than the historical situation.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Native range encompasses the Atlantic Slope from New Brunswick south to central Florida, and west on the Gulf Slope to Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee drainages, Florida and Georgia. This species has been introduced in Gulf drainages as far west as the Rio Grande and in the Mississippi River basin as far north as Kentucky and Arkansas (Page and Burr 1991). See Houston (1990) for information on occurrence in Canada.

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MD, ME, MSexotic, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OKexotic, PA, RI, SC, TN, TXexotic, VA, VT, WV
Canada NB

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Upper St. John (01010001), Allagash (01010002), Fish (01010003), Aroostook (01010004), Meduxnekeag (01010005), West Branch Penobscot (01020001), East Branch Penobscot (01020002), Mattawamkeag (01020003), Piscataquis (01020004), Lower Penobscot (01020005), Upper Kennebec (01030001), Dead (01030002), Lower Kennebec (01030003), Upper Androscoggin (01040001), Lower Androscoggin (01040002), St. Croix (01050001), Maine Coastal (01050002), St. George-Sheepscot (01050003), Presumpscot (01060001), Saco (01060002), Piscataqua-Salmon Falls (01060003), Pemigewasset (01070001), Merrimack (01070002), Contoocook (01070003), Nashua (01070004), Concord (01070005), Upper Connecticut (01080101), Waits (01080103), Upper Connecticut-Mascoma (01080104), Middle Connecticut (01080201), Miller (01080202), Deerfield (01080203), Chicopee (01080204), Lower Connecticut (01080205), Westfield (01080206), Farmington (01080207), Charles (01090001), Blackstone (01090003), Narragansett (01090004), Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005), Quinebaug (01100001), Shetucket (01100002), Thames (01100003), Quinnipiac (01100004), Housatonic (01100005), Saugatuck (01100006)
02 Lake George (02010001), Upper Hudson (02020001), Sacandaga (02020002), Hudson-Hoosic (02020003), Mohawk (02020004), Schoharie (02020005), Middle Hudson (02020006), Rondout (02020007), Hudson-Wappinger (02020008), Lower Hudson (02030101), Hackensack-Passaic (02030103), Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104), Raritan (02030105), Upper Delaware (02040101), East Branch Delaware (02040102), Lackawaxen (02040103), Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104), Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105), Lehigh (02040106), Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201), Lower Delaware (02040202), Schuylkill (02040203), Brandywine-Christina (02040205), Cohansey-Maurice (02040206), Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207), Mullica-Toms (02040301), Great Egg Harbor (02040302), Upper Susquehanna (02050101), Chenango (02050102), Owego-Wappasening (02050103), Tioga (02050104)*, Chemung (02050105), Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock (02050106), Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107), Bald Eagle (02050204), Lower West Branch Susquehanna (02050206), Lower Susquehanna-Penns (02050301), Upper Juniata (02050302), Raystown (02050303), Lower Juniata (02050304), Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305), Lower Susquehanna (02050306), Chester-Sassafras (02060002), Gunpowder-Patapsco (02060003), Severn (02060004), Choptank (02060005), Patuxent (02060006), Blackwater-Wicomico (02060007), Nanticoke (02060008), Pocomoke (02060009), Chincoteague (02060010), South Branch Potomac (02070001), North Branch Potomac (02070002), Cacapon-Town (02070003), Conococheague-Opequon (02070004), South Fork Shenandoah (02070005), North Fork Shenandoah (02070006), Shenandoah (02070007), Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008), Monocacy (02070009), Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan (02070010), Lower Potomac (02070011), Great Wicomico-Piankatank (02080102), Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock (02080103), Lower Rappahannock (02080104), Mattaponi (02080105), Pamunkey (02080106), York (02080107), Upper James (02080201), Maury (02080202), Middle James-Buffalo (02080203), Rivanna (02080204), Middle James-Willis (02080205), Lower James (02080206), Appomattox (02080207), Hampton Roads (02080208)
03 Upper Roanoke (03010101), Middle Roanoke (03010102), Upper Dan (03010103), Lower Dan (03010104), Banister (03010105), Roanoke Rapids (03010106), Lower Roanoke (03010107), Nottoway (03010201), Blackwater (03010202), Ghowan (03010203), Meheriin (03010204), Albemarle (03010205), Upper Tar (03020101), Fishing (03020102), Lower Tar (03020103), Pamlico Sound (03020105), Bogue-Core Sounds (03020106), Upper Neuse (03020201), Middle Neuse (03020202), Contentnea (03020203), Lower Neuse (03020204), New (03030001), Haw (03030002), Deep (03030003), Upper Cape Fear (03030004), Lower Cape Fear (03030005), Black (03030006), Northeast Cape Fear (03030007), Upper Yadkin (03040101), South Yadkin (03040102), Lower Yadkin (03040103), Upper Pee Dee (03040104), Rocky, North Carolina, (03040105), Lower Pee Dee (03040201), Lynches (03040202), Lumber (03040203), Little Pee Dee (03040204), Black (03040205), Waccamaw (03040206), Carolina Coastal-Sampit (03040207), Upper Catawba (03050101), South Fork Catawba (03050102), Lower Catawba (03050103), Wateree (03050104), Upper Broad (03050105), Lower Broad (03050106), Tyger (03050107), Enoree (03050108), Saluda (03050109), Congaree (03050110), Lake Marion (03050111), Santee (03050112), Cooper (03050201), South Carolina Coastal (03050202), North Fork Edisto (03050203), South Fork Edisto (03050204), Edisto (03050205), Four Hole Swamp (03050206), Salkehatchie (03050207), Broad-St. Helena (03050208), Seneca (03060101), Tugaloo (03060102), Upper Savannah (03060103), Broad (03060104), Little (03060105), Middle Savannah (03060106), Stevens (03060107), Brier (03060108), Lower Savannah (03060109), Upper Ogeechee (03060201), Lower Ogeechee (03060202), Canoochee (03060203), Ogeechee Coastal (03060204), Upper Oconee (03070101), Lower Oconee (03070102), Upper Ocmulgee (03070103), Lower Ocmulgee (03070104), Little Ocmulgee (03070105), Altamaha (03070106), Ohoopee (03070107), Satilla (03070201), Little Satilla (03070202), Cumberland-St. Simons (03070203), St. Marys (03070204), Nassau (03070205), Upper St. Johns (03080101), Oklawaha (03080102), Lower St. Johns (03080103), Daytona - St. Augustine (03080201), Kissimmee (03090101), Little Manatee (03100203), Alafia (03100204), Hillsborough (03100205), Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207), Withlacoochee (03100208), Waccasassa (03110101), Econfina-Steinhatchee (03110102), Aucilla (03110103), Upper Suwannee (03110201), Alapaha (03110202), withlacoochee (03110203), Little (03110204), Lower Suwannee (03110205), Santa Fe (03110206), Apalachee Bay-St. Marks (03120001), Upper Ochlockonee (03120002), Lower Ochlockonee (03120003), Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding (03130002), Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F. George Reservoir (03130003), Lower Chattahoochee (03130004), Upper Flint (03130005), Middle Flint (03130006), Kinchafoonee-Muckalee (03130007), Lower Flint (03130008), Ichawaynochaway (03130009), Spring (03130010), Apalachicola (03130011), Chipola (03130012), New (03130013), St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101), Upper Choctawhatchee (03140201), Pea (03140202), Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)
04 Raquette (04150305), St. Regis (04150306)
06 Upper French Broad (06010105), Ocoee (06020003), Guntersville Lake (06030001), Wheeler Lake (06030002)
+ 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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Reproduction Comments: Spawns in spring and summer; male guards nest, fans eggs, and may briefly guard hatchlings; sexually mature when 2-3 years old; nests may be close together (Scott and Crossman 1973, Manooch 1984).
Ecology Comments: In a large Coastal Plain stream in Georgia, marked individuals usually stayed in a small area (within 33 m of original capture location), but some moved up to 200 m away (Freeman 1995).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Estuarine Habitat(s): River mouth/tidal river
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes rocky and sandy pools and margins of creeks and small to medium rivers, including tidal freshwater areas; also rocky and vegetated lake margins. In streams with rapids, this fish occurs in deeper slower areas over rock and gravel, often near cover or obstructions. It aggregates in deeper holes when water temperature fall below about 5 C. Eggs are laid in nests made by male on bottom; nests may be close together in ponds and lakes, usually on the downstream side of a rock in a stream.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly immature aquatic insects; also other invertebrates (Scott and Crossman 1973).
Length: 16 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
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: 22Jun2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Jun2007
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
  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • Anderson, Allison A., C. Hubbs, K. O. Winemiller, and R. J. Edwards. 1995. Texas freshwater fish assemblages following three decades of environmental change. The Southwest Naturalist 40(3):314-321.

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

  • EDWARDS, ROBERT J. AND SALVADOR CONTRERAS-BALDERAS. 1991. HISTORICAL CHANGES IN THE ICHTHIOFAUNA OF THE LOWER RIO GRANDE (RIO BRAVO DEL NORTE), TEXAS AND MEXICO. SOUTHWEST. NAT. 36(2):201-212.

  • Etnier, David A. and Wayne C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 681 pp.

  • Freeman, M. C. 1995. Movements by two small fishes in a large stream. Copeia 1995:361-367.

  • George, C.J. 1980. The fishes of the Adirondack Park. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Albany, NY 94 pp.

  • Houston, J. 1990. Status of the redbreast sunfish, Lepomis auritus, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 104:64-68.

  • Manooch, C. S., III. 1984. Fisherman's guide. Fishes of the southeastern United States. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh. 362 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.

  • RHODES, KEVIN AND CLARK HUBBS. 1992. RECOVERY OF PECOS RIVER FISHES FROM A RED TIDE FISH KILL. SOUTHWEST. NAT. 37(2):178-187.

  • ROSS, STEPHEN T. 1996. INLAND FISHES OF MISSISSIPPI. SELECTED SPECIES ACCOUNTS. COAUTHORED WITH W.M. BRENNEMAM, W.T. SLACK, M.T. O'CONNELL, AND T.L. PETERSON. ILLUSTRATED BY D.G. ROSS. DRAFT COPY.

  • 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.

  • Roosa, P. and M.J. Slack. 1975. An ichthyology of four Adirondack lakes. Rensselaer Freshwater Institute. Lake George report 75-7:39 pp.

  • Scott, W. B., and E. J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin 184. 966 pp.

  • Smith, C.L. 1985. The Inland Fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY. 522pp.

  • VALDES, CANTU, NORA E. AND KIRK O. WINEMILLER. 1997. STRUCTURE AND HABITAT ASSOCIATIONS OF DEVILS RIVER FISH ASSEMBLAGES. SOUTHWEST. NAT. 42(3):265-278.

  • Werner, R.G. 1980. Freshwater fishes of New York State. N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. 186 pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 960 pp.

  • Cooper, E. L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park. 243 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.

  • Mettee, M. F., P. E. O'Neil, and J. M. Pierson. 1996. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Oxmoor House, Birmingham, Alabama. 820 pp.

  • Smith, C. L. 1983. Fishes of New York (maps and printout of a draft section on scarce fishes of New York). Unpublished draft.

  • Smith, C. L. 1985. The inland fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, New York, xi + 522 pp.

  • Stauffer, J. R., Jr., J. M. Boltz, and L. R. White. 1995. The fishes of West Virginia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 146:1-389.

  • Whitworth, W. R., P. L. Berrien, and W. T. Keller. 1976. Freshwater fishes of Connecticut. Bulletin of the Connecticut Geological and Natural History Survey 101. vi + 134 pp.

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