Bluegill

Lepomis macrochirus

James F. Parnell

The Bluegill is a fish from the Sunfish family. It lives in streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. It usually hides around, and inside, old treestumps and other underwater structures. It can live in either deep or very shallow water, and will often move back and forth, depending on the time of day or season. Bluegills also like to find shelter among water plants and in the shade of trees along banks.

Bluegills can grow up to 12 inches long and about 4 1/2 pounds. They have beautiful coloring, with deep blue and purple on the face and gill flap, dark olive-colored bands down the side, and a fiery orange to yellow belly.

Copyright, John White

Bluegills eat just about any little animal that will fit into their small mouths, especially aquatic (water) insects and terrestrial (land) insects that fall in the water.

Bluegills are prey to many animals, such as larger fish, birds, and turtles.

UtahDiving

Frank's Aquarium

Female Bluegills will lay up to 50,000 eggs in a nest dug into the bottom of a shallow area. The males will guard the nest and the fry (baby fish) when they are born.

Bluegills are the most common fish caught by fishermen in Northern Virginia. They are easy to catch because they will eat so many different things;such as earthworms, crickets, grasshoppers--even people-food like bread and corn!

Bluegills act as hosts for several parasites, including Eastern Lamp Mussels and The Big Red Worm, neither of which do the Bluegill much harm.

Snorkeling Guide to Michigan Inland Lakes

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Bluegill Swimming #1
Video
Mark Moran
Bluegill Swimming #2
Video
Mark Moran
Bluegill Swimming #3
Video
Mark Moran
Bluegill Swimming #4 (long)
Video
Mark Moran
Bluegill Eating Earthworm #1 (competing)
Video
Mark Moran
Bluegill Eating Earthworm #2
Video
Mark Moran
Bluegill Eating Earthworm #3
Video
Mark Moran
Bluegill Eating Earthworm #4
Video
Mark Moran
Bluegill Eating Earthworm #5 (pulling from rocks) LARGE!
Video (Long download, approx 1 minute on T1)
Mark Moran
Bluegill Eating Earthworm #6 (pulling from plant)
Video
Mark Moran
Download Quicktime if you are unable to play video

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Water Flea

Largemouth Bass

Common Cattail

Eastern Lamp Mussel Pa

Green Darner

Great Blue Heron

Common Duckweed

Golden Shiner SP

Earthworm

Common Snapping Turtle

Black Willow

Common Carp EC

Eastern Dobsonfly

Human

White Oak

Beaver SP

Honey Bee

Channel Catfish

American Sycamore

The Big Red Worm Pa

Field Cricket

American Robin

Yellow Pond Lily

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth

Yellow Perch

Pickerelweed

Yellow Perch

Eastern Newt

Lizard's Tail

Eastern Newt

Large Diving Beetle

Long-leaf Pondweed

Tesselated Darter

Green Darner

Hydrilla

Large Diving Beetle

Muskrat

Green Algae

Crane Fly

Golden Shiner

Greater Bladderwort

Golden Shiner

Eastern Painted Turtle

Marsh Bulrush

Spring Peeper

Northern Water Snake

Arrow Arum

Clouded Sulphur

Common Carp

Long-leaf Pondweed

Yellow Bullhead

True Katydid

Eastern Mosquitofish

Yellow Bullhead

Northern Hog Sucker

Eastern Mosquitofish

Green Hydra

Aquatic Worm

Six-spotted Fishing Spider

Relationship to Humans:

Bluegills are often caught in the wild and eaten by humans. Like nearly all fish, bluegill are nutritious and high in Vitamin D. Bluegill also help humans by eating thousands of pesky insects, such as mosquitos.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Bony Fish
ORDER
Perciformes
FAMILY
Centrarchidae
GENUS
Lepomis
SPECIES
Lepomis macrochirus

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