Warmouth
  • 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.
  • The sides and the dorsal fin are mottled/spotted, there are 36-40 lateral line scales, there are 3 anal spines.
  • Close-up mouth: There is a tooth patch in middle of the tongue.
  • Close-up pectoral fin: Notice the moderately long rounded pectoral fin.
  • There are 9-12 moderately long and thin primary gill rakers on the 1st arch.
  • Notice the mottled sides with faint vertical bars and dark opercular flap with the light reddish margin.
  • Close-up head: Notice the large mouth and the dark opercular flap with a light margin.
  • Side view of a breeder: Breeders are similar to non-breeders but may have more intense colors.
  • Side view of a breeder: Breeders are similar to non-breeders but may have more intense colors.
  • Side view of a breeder: Breeders are similar to non-breeders but may have more intense colors.
  • Side view of a yearling: Juveniles are similar to adults.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults.
  • Alternative side view of an adult.
  • Alternative view of anal fin.
  • Alternative side view.
  • 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.
  • 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.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Sunfishes (Centrarchidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth terminal, large and oblique, with pads of small teeth on the jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Back dark brown or dark olive, sides yellow-brown or olive, belly tan or yellow. Sides with faint dark blotches or mottling, irregular light spots, and/or diffuse dark vertical bars. 3-5 dark lines radiating backward from the eye; opecular flap dark with a light margin. Dorsal, caudal, and to a lesser extent anal fins with dark mottling and/or dark spots; pelvic and pectoral fins lightly pigmented to dusky. 36-40 ctenoid lateral scales. Body shape and size: Body laterally compressed and deep, slightly elongated; 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 about 10 spines and the second with 9-10 rays. Pelvic fins thoracic. Adipose fin absent. Anal fin with 3 spines and 8-10 rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
See similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Similar to non-breeders, but with more intense colors (photos).
Juveniles
Similar to adults.
Hybrids
All Lepomis species in Wisconsin have the potential to hybridize with each other, and certain combinations are relatively common: pumpkinseed x warmouth (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, RockSmall juveniles very similar, adults moderately similar
BluegillModerately similar
PumpkinseedModerately similar
Sunfish, GreenModerately similar
Sunfish, LongearModerately similar
Sunfish, OrangespottedModerately similar
WarmouthN/A
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