Fish in Focus: Longear sunfish, Lepomis megalotis
Nikonos II, 35mm & Hydro Photo T1 close-up lens, f/16 1/60, Ikelite Ai & Ms substrobes, Fujichrome Velvia.
This image of a spawning pair of longear sunfish Lepomis megalotis was taken on August 7, 1994 in a tributary of Mill creek, Wabaunsee Co. KS at 10:30 AM.
The longear sunfish inhabits a range from the Florida Panhandle to southern Texas, up through the Gulf drainages of the Appalachian Mountains, to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Longear sunfish prefer rocky headwater pools of small creeks and rivers. However, they may also be found in rocky, clear water impoundments. They make an excellent aquarium fish and are very friendly to scuba divers and snorkelers. There are approximately 6 subspecies of longear sunfish, but their exact ranges and variations are not well understood. There can be a marked difference in color intensity between breeding males from drainages only a few miles apart.