Family: Centrachidae

Common Family: The Sunfish Family

Common Name: Green Sunfish

Scientific Name: Lepomis cyanellus


The body of the green sunfish is an olive-green color with iridescent blue-green stripes across the side of its head often beneath the eye. They have short and rounded pectoral fins. Green sunfish are the only sunfish in Indiana with a mouth that extends beyond the midpoint of the eye, and this mouth allows it to consume larger food items than other sunfish.

Range and Habitat: 

Green sunfish can be found in all warmwater habitats of Indiana. Green sunfish freely crossbred with other sunfish, and these hybrids are moderately common in Indiana waters.

Fishing Facts:

Green sunfish eat insects and small fish. Angling techniques are similar to those used for bluegill. Green sunfish will vigorously defend their territory especially during spawning and put up a tremendous fight for their size.

Similar Species: 

Bluegill, longear, and redbreast sunfish all have a flexible opercle flap.