Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The green sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus, is established in many of Utah's warmer waters, although it is not native to the state, but rather to much of central and eastern North America. The green sunfish is a sport fish, but it is not as popular with Utah anglers as is the closely related bluegill.

Adult green sunfish eat large invertebrates and small fishes, whereas young green sunfish eat zooplankton and other small invertebrates. The species spawns in the spring and summer, and eggs hatch in about two days. Males build nests prior to spawning, and defend both eggs and young after spawning is complete. Green sunfish inhabit shallow, warm areas of lakes, ponds, and streams.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.