Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Lesueur, 1829)
member of the Sunfish Family (Centrarchidae)
photo by Konrad Schmidt
In a Name?
(Poe-mox´-iss) means "sharp opercle" in Greek
Do They Live?
Black crappies occur in all major drainages of Minnesota. They are most abundant in the central portion of the state and least abundant in the deep, rocky lakes of the Arrowhead region (northeastern Minnesota). Black crappies inhabit moderate to large streams, large river backwaters, and small to medium sized lakes. They prefer clear, calm, warm water with lots of vegetation.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Black crappies are carnivores (animal eaters). As larvae, they consume mostly copepods and waterfleas, but they begin to include tiny insect larvae when they get to be about 25 mm (1 in) long. As they grow they add more and larger insect larvae, amphipods, and finally small fishes. Full-grown black crappies continue to consume insect larvae, but minnows, small bluegill, and small yellow perch become their major prey.
Do They Reproduce?
Eggs (embryos actually) hatch in about a week or so, but the embryos stay in the nest for several more days while developing a functional mouth and fin rays. They then swim up into the water column and begin feeding.
Permission is granted for the non-commercial educational or scientific use of the text and images on this Web document. Please credit the author or authors listed below.
Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 23 October 2002