Pumpkinseed
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Close-up anal fin: There are 3 anal spines; the belly is orange.
  • Close-up pectoral fin: The pectoral fin is long and pointed.
  • The sides are spotted with faint vertical bars; notice the dark opercular flap with a red spot at the posterior margin.
  • Close-up head: The mouth is small; notice the dark opercular flap with a red spot at the posterior margin.
  • Close-up gill rakers: There are 9-12 short and thick primary gill rakers on the 1st arch.
  • The sides are spotted with faint vertical bars, there are 38-43 lateral line scales, the dorsal fin is solid/spotted, there are 3 anal spines.
  • Side view of a breeder: Breeders are similar to non-breeders, but show more intense colors.
  • Side view of a breeder: Breeders are similar to non-breeders, but show more intense colors.
  • Side view of a breeder: Breeders are similar to non-breeders, but show more intense colors.
  • Side view of a breeder: Breeders are similar to non-breeders, but show more intense colors.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults.
  • Side view of a yearling: Juveniles are similar to adults.
  • Alternative side view of an adult.
  • Side view of a pumpkinseed X warmouth hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
  • Close-up head of a pumpkinseed X warmouth hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
  • Side view of a pumpkinseed X warmouth hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
  • Side view of two pumpkinseed X warmouth hybrids: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
  • Side view of a pumpkinseed X green sunfish hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
  • Side view of a pumpkinseed X bluegill hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern and the opercular flap.
  • Close-up head of a pumpkinseed X bluegill hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern and the opercular flap.
  • Close-up gill rakers of a pumpkinseed X bluegill hybrid: Notice the intermediate size and length of the gill rakers.
  • Side view of a pumpkinseed X bluegill hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern and the opercular flap.
  • Close-up head of a pumpkinseed X warmouth hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
  • Side view of a pumpkinseed X green sunfish hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
  • Close-up head of a pumpkinseed X green sunfish hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
  • Close-up of gill rakers of a pumpkinseed X green sunfish hybrid: Notice the intermediate size and length of the gill rakers.
  • Side view of a pumpkinseed X green sunfish hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the color pattern, the opercular flap, the mouth, and the pectoral fin.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Sunfishes (Centrarchidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth terminal, relatively small and slightly oblique, with pads of small teeth on the jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Back brown or olive, sides olive or yellow-olive, belly yellow or yellow-orange. Sides with numerous irregular yellow or red-orange spots and/or small blotches and sometimes faint diffuse vertical bars. Sometimes 3-5 bluish lines radiating backward from the eye; opercular flap dark with a red spot at the posterior margin. Dorsal, caudal, and to a lesser extent anal fins usually darkly pigmented with faint dark blotches or light spots; pelvic and pectoral fins lightly pigmented to dusky. 38-43 ctenoid lateral scales. Body shape and size: Body laterally compressed and deep; oval in cross section. Typically 125-200 mm (5-8 in) TL; maximum in Wisconsin about 250 mm (10 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Slightly forked or round tail. Dorsal fin with 2 lobes, broadly joined by a membrane and appearing as one fin, the first with 10-11 spines and the second with 10-12 rays. Pelvic fins thoracic. Adipose fin absent. Anal fin with 3 spines and 10-11 rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
See similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Similar to non-breeders, but with more intense colors (esp. yellow-orange spots and belly, red spot at edge of opercular flap, photos).
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but spots and colors less intense (photos).
Hybrids
All Lepomis species in Wisconsin have the potential to hybridize with each other, and certain combinations are relatively common: pumkinseed X warmouth, pumpkinseed X bluegill, pumpkinseed X green sunfish (photos).
Compare Similar Species
Lateral Scales
Bass, Rock39-43
Bluegill39-45
Pumpkinseed38-43
Sunfish, Green44-51
Sunfish, Longear34-38
Sunfish, Orangespotted36-41
Warmouth36-40
Opercular Flap Color
Bass, RockSolid dark
BluegillSolid dark
PumpkinseedDark with light spot at tip
Sunfish, GreenDark with light margin
Sunfish, LongearDark with light margin
Sunfish, OrangespottedDark with light margin
WarmouthDark with light margin
Gill Rakers
Bass, Rock7-10, long and thin
Bluegill13-16, moderately long
Pumpkinseed9-12, short and thick
Sunfish, Green11-14, long and thin
Sunfish, Longear9-11, short and thick
Sunfish, Orangespotted10-15, long and thin
Warmouth9-12, moderately long
Pectoral Fin
Bass, RockShort, rounded
BluegillLong, pointed
PumpkinseedLong, pointed
Sunfish, GreenModerately long, rounded
Sunfish, LongearShort, rounded or blunt point
Sunfish, OrangespottedLong, rounded or blunt point
WarmouthModerately long, rounded
Pigment Pattern on Sides and Soft Dorsal Fin
Bass, RockSides brown solid color or with dark mottling or many indistinct spots; fin mottled and/or spotted
BluegillSides dark or silver blue or bluish-olive, solid color or with dark vertical bars, sometimes fine irregular dark blue spots; fin solid, often with large diffuse spot at base
PumpkinseedSides olive or yellow-olive, with many irregular yellow-orange spots or blotches and sometimes faint vertical bars; fin solid or faint spots/mottling
Sunfish, GreenSides yellow or blue-green, with solid color, dark mottling, faint light spots or faint dark bars; fin dusky, spotted or with dark blotch at base
Sunfish, LongearSides dark bluish-olive, with solid color or light irregular spots or blotches/mottling; fin solid or faint spots/mottling
Sunfish, OrangespottedSides blue or gray, with occasional irregular orange spots, faint diffuse vertical bars; fin solid or faint spots/mottling
WarmouthSides yellow-brown or olive with dark mottling, faint spots or faint bars; fin mottled and/or spotted
Other Characteristics
Bass, Rock5-7 anal spines; 9-11 anal rays
BluegillOpercular flap slightly elongated in large adults
PumpkinseedNone
Sunfish, GreenRarely a few teeth on tongue
Sunfish, LongearOpercular flap greatly elongated in adults
Sunfish, OrangespottedOpercular flap often elongated in adults; large sensory pores above lip; 8-9 anal fin rays
WarmouthWell-developed supramaxillary bone; teeth on tongue
Similarity Index
Bass, RockModerately similar
BluegillSmall juveniles very similar, adults moderately similar
PumpkinseedN/A
Sunfish, GreenSmall juveniles very similar, adults moderately similar
Sunfish, LongearVery similar
Sunfish, OrangespottedVery similar
WarmouthSmall juveniles very similar, adults moderately similar
Login