Iowa DNR
River & Stream Biological Monitoring
Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Surveys
Physical Habitat Assessments

Orangespotted Sunfish Lepomis humilis

Centrarchidae (Sunfish)
Trophic Class
Is Exotic to Iowa?
Is Lithophilous Spawner?
Is Hybrid?
State Listing Status
Not Listed
Assessment Program Statistics

This species was found at 152 bioassessment sites, 10 rapid fish bioassessment sites, 44 fisheries assessment sites, and 2 fisheries presence-only assessment sites. In total, it was collected at 205 distinct sites, or 15.2% of the 1350 total sites monitored by the bioassessment program. It is the 33rd most commonly collected species.

The Orangespotted Sunfish was collected in 208 bioassessment sampling sessions and 68 fisheries assessment sessions. It was present in 10 rapid bioassessment sessions and 2 presence-only sessions.

The biological assessment program has collected a total of 1,764 individual Orangespotted Sunfish specimens, ranking it the #54 most collected fish.

Species Characteristics

A moderately deep-bodied, slab-sided sunfish with a large mouth that extends to the front of the eye when the mouth is closed. The spiny dorsal fin has 10 spines and is directly connected to the soft part of the fin. Pectoral fins are short and rounded, usually not reaching past the eye when extended in a forward position. The opercular flap is long and black with a whitish margin. The most striking features of the Orangespotted Sunfish are the vivid red or orange spots on the sides of males and the more subdued brownish-orange spots on females. The sides are olive-colored with a sprinkling of fine golden and emerald dots. Pelvic and anal fins are fringed in black.

Species Distribution Maps

HUC12 watersheds where this species has been found