Species of the Week: Pumpkinseed

Photo by Claire Alarcon-Belanger

As pumpkin season comes to a close, we thought it would only be appropriate to discuss our jack-o-lantern-named friend, the Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus). Although Pumpkinseeds are a native species, they almost look out of place in our waters with their bright tropical colours. They are a fun and easy fish to catch but look out! Pumpkinseeds have up to 11 spines on their dorsal fins and 3 spines on their anal fins. These spines help to defend them from predators, including larger fish like Largemouth Bass and Pike, as well as birds like Cormorants and Herons. As for the Pumpkinseeds, they eat insects, small crustaceans, and other small fish. Pumpkinseeds prefer to live in warmer, slow-moving or still water, where there is aquatic vegetation to give them shelter from predators. They tend to travel in schools with other Sunfish as well. Thanks to this, it is not uncommon for Pumpkinseeds to hybridize with other Sunfish species, which we have seen here at the park! Have you ever gone fishing at Murphys Point?

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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