ANIMAL: Warmouth Lepomis gulosus Type of Animal: Sunfish Habitat: Muddy bottom swamps, muddy/mucky bottom marshes, vegetated muddy bottom lakes, slow-moving streams, quiet vegetated areas of muddy bottom streams, canals, streambanks, pond banks, vegetated ponds, rivers w/ ample vegetation/brushpiles, slow-moving backwater streams w/ stumps/ample vegetation/brushpiles, areas around aquatic vegetation/stumps/snags, slower-moving polluted river areas, sluggish waters w/ dense detritus/vegetation/brushpiles/stumps/structure(even barrels/discarded tires), shallow weed beds, backwater impoundments w/ adequate cover, medium to large streams w/ aquatic vegetation/submerged roots/brushpiles, reservoirs w/ vegetation cover, well-vegetated oxbows w/ submerged roots/brushpiles, clear well-vegetated shallow marshes w/ submerged roots/brushpiles, swamps w/ vegetation/riprap cover, Carolina bays, do well in clear & turbid water, prefer freshwater but sometimes found in brackish waters/saline river areas Location(s): Native to Mississippi River basin, Ohio River basin, Great Lakes, all SE US & northward to Chesapeake Bay & westward to Rio Grande as well as NE Mexico bordering Texas & S Ontario near Great Lakes. Introduced as far NE as New York, all of Texas, much of New Mexico, Arizona, Pacific coast states, Colorado, Kansas, & Idaho. May be expanding throughout S Canada. Also introduced in Puerto Rico. Appearance: Dark fish w/ shiny mottled brown coloration, golden belly, male has bright-orange spot at base of dorsal fin, breeding males have redder eyes, warpaint style pattern, deep compressed lateral body Food/Diet: Other fish, insects, mollusks, zooplankton, crayfish, shrimp, aquatic insect larvae, isopods, copepods, water fleas, grubs, angleworms Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Extra measures being taken to monitor Canadian populations Lifestyle: Solitary or schools of 10-20 fish. Males nest either solitarily or in close proximity w/ 6-8 other males. Breeding males guard eggs/newly hatched fry. Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Fry/Fingerling Group: School Weight: Male: 0.44-2 lbs Female: 0.4-1 lb Gestation: 3 days Life Span: 6 years Body Length: Male: 6-12 in Female: 3-8 in Young: 1 in Main predators are larger fish, snakes, turtles, birds, crocodilians, & otters. Fry leave dad at 5-6 days old. Spawning season lasts from May-July. Females can produce anything from 4,000-63,000 eggs per spawning season & often lay eggs in multiple nests. Each nest often has eggs from multiple females. Reach maturity at close to a year old. Fun Fact(s): Males guard eggs aggressively, even charging at people who come too close. Called warmouth due to either markings resembling warpaint or it’s big mouth-“mouth so big you could have a war in it.” Known by many names-redeye, google-eye, red-eyed bream, stump knocker, mudgapper, mo-mouth, morgan, molly, rock bass, open mouth, weed bass, wood bass, strawberry perch, & mud bass.