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sunfish,common name for members of the family Centrachidae, comprising numerous species of spiny-finned, freshwater fishes with deep, laterally flattened bodies found in temperate North America. All members of the family, which includes the black basses (genus Micropterus) and the crappies (genus Pomoxis), prefer fertile lakes with firm bottoms and build nests, which the males guard pugnaciously. The sunfishes, or breams, genus Lepomis, are smaller ( 1-4 lb/.14 kg average) members indigenous to E North America but successfully introduced in the West. Common eastern varieties are the the bluegill and green sunfishes, and the longear and common, or pumpkinseed, sunfishes, brilliantly colored with bright orange bellies. The redear and warmouth sunfishes are found in the Mississippi basin; the spotted sunfish, or stumpknocker, is a denizen of the South. The Sacramento perch, Archoplites interruptus, a native western sunfish, has been widely introduced in the W United States. The rock bass, genus Ambloplites, is indigenous to E North America. The black basses, the most important and valuable of American freshwater game fishes, are longer bodied and larger (averaging 2–3 lb/.9–1.4 kg); they include the largemouth and smallmouth black basses and the spotted bass. The crappies are the largest sunfishes, attaining a length of 1 ft (2.5 cm) and a weight of 2 lb (.9 kg). There are two species, the white crappie (P. annularis) and the black crappie or calico bass (P. nigromaculatus). The pigmy sunfishes, rarely over 1 1-2 in. (3.8 cm) long, bear an uncertain relationship to the family and are classed separately (family Elassomatidae). The totally unrelated ocean sunfish, or headfish, Mola mola, of the family Molidae, is allied to the pufferpuffer
common name for some tropical marine fish of the family Tetraodontidae. The puffers and their allies, including the boxfish, the porcupinefish, the triggerfish, and the marine sunfish form an odd group (order Tetraodontiformes).
..... Click the link for more information. . Sunfishes are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Centrachidae.
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Any of several species of marine and freshwater fishes in the families Centrarchidae and Molidae characterized by brilliant metallic skin coloration.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. any large plectognath fish of the family Molidae, of temperate and tropical seas, esp Mola mola, which has a large rounded compressed body, long pointed dorsal and anal fins, and a fringelike tail fin
2. any of various small predatory North American freshwater percoid fishes of the family Centrarchidae, typically having a compressed brightly coloured body
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005