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Sunfish, is the common name for a family of mostly small freshwater fish.

It is also the name of a large ocean fish.

Sunfish and a Berkley Pink Worm

Sunfish and a Berkley Pink Worm.

This freshwater fish is noted for their nest-building.

The male hollows out a depression in the sand where the female lays her eggs.

After fertilizing the eggs, the male guards the nest and the newly hatched young.

One of the best-known species of this small freshwater fish is the pumpkinseed, or common sunfish, which grows up to nine inches (23 cm) long.

It is found in lakes throughout much of the eastern half of the United States and is often taken by fishermen.

Some species, such as the 3 1/2-inch (9-cm) blue-spotted and the 1- to 1 1/2-inch (2.5- to 4-cm) banded pygmy and everglades pygmy, are popular aquarium fish.

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Why Are Sunfish Named After the Sun?

They are named after the sun because many of them are round and brightly coloured—just like the sun.

Sunfish such as the Bluegill and Pumpkinseed have bright yellow or orange bellies.

They make up a family of about 30 freshwater fish.

A Bay of Quinte Sunfish

A Bay of Quinte Sunfish.

These bony fish live in lakes and streams across North America.

Most grow to only 8 inches (20 centimeters) long and weigh under 1 pound (454 grams).

Other members of this family, including largemouth bass, can grow up to 2 feet (61 centimeters) long and weigh over 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms).

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Freshwater sunfish make up the family Centrarchidae.

The pumpkinseed is Lepomis gibbosus; blue-spotted sunfish, Enneacanthus gloriosus; banded pygmy sunfish, Elassoma zonatum; everglades pygmy, Elassoma evergladei.

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