Lepomis gibbosus(Linnaeus, 1758)
member of the Sunfish Family (Centrarchidae)
In a Name?
(Leh-poe´-miss) means "scaled gill cover" in Greek
Do They Live?
Pumpkinseeds occur in all major drainages of Minnesota, but are more common in the central and north-central parts of the state. They very likely were introduced to the Lake Superior drainage. Pumpkinseeds are common in most of our clear lakes and in many of our slow-moving streams. They favor clear water 1-2 m (3-6.5 ft) deep in areas with lots of vegetation. They share their habitats almost always with bluegill, rock bass, largemouth bass, and many species of minnows.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Pumpkinseed young and adults have similar diets; the main difference is the size of the food they are consuming. Their diet is mostly made up of animals, but they do eat small amounts of vegetation. Items that are common in their diet include aquatic (water) insect larvae, terrestrial (land) insect adults, young snails and clams, leeches, and larval fishes.
Do They Reproduce?
The embryos hatch quickly in 2-3 days and spend another 5 days or so in the nest as "wrigglers". When they swim up to feed, they have fully developed mouths and partially developed fins. The male will continue to spawn and bring off broods every 10 days or so through the summer.
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