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Comment by John Sheehan on January 15, 2012 at 9:33am

This discussion is great!! No one has mentioned spiny dorsal number! This link says BGill have 10 spines on the  dorsal fin : http://www.identicards.com/allaboutfreshwaterfish/species.asp?fish=... Your Pic has 10 spiny dorsals,my RBS has 9. Now I'm curious how Hybridization can affect dorsal spine numbers. I believe a Green Sunfish has 9 spines. Ithink some Bgill have 9 and not 10 spines like the link says .Anyone got any thoughts about this?

Comment by Zig on March 3, 2010 at 8:50am
John - I'm going with a BGxRBS for any future pics..........
Comment by John Sheehan on March 3, 2010 at 8:44am
Very fine fish though Zig.I am very curious as to a verdict on this discussion.Where's Musky Mod when ya need him? Also,I need to fully digest Bruces comments on this .He's the source on things of this nature.
Comment by John Sheehan on March 3, 2010 at 8:38am
The mouth looks big on your fish but I dont see other RB Sunfish qualities .No outer edge fin coloring like this RB S I caught:

Comment by Michael Thompson on March 3, 2010 at 7:37am
good observations, you must be an artist like me who sees those kind of things.
I have caught fish like the one you have, but I have no pics, but redbreast genes could be present and make a similar appearance with only small differences I guess. hybridization makes it tough to tell. those younger fish look alot like juvinile green sunfish, but the long flap says otherwise. keep the great pics a coming! this is fun!
Comment by Zig on March 3, 2010 at 6:47am
Hopefully there will be another chance to handle one of these fish so I can caption it properly. Thanks for the discussion everyone!!

Mike - just for the sake of discussion, I see three(3) distinct differences between the fish you posted and the original. The first is the fin coloration, which I have noticed defines a hybrid, especially with GS in the mix. you rfish has very rich coloring on the fins. Mine missed that day........

Second is the gill flap/gill plate construction; on your fish, the gill plate rounds out with the flap, mine rounds out ahead of the flap, with the flap making an extension off the plate. (I'll pull these differences out in a picture when I'm at my media laptop if you are interested.)

The third, which you have mentioned, is in the facial coloration, which actually carries into body coloration - complete lack of aqua highlights.

Actually, I just noticed a fourth even larger difference - look at the tails. Your's appears to have a much harder fork, (excluding the fact the lower section is worn off), then the rounded appearance of the one I posted.

I would have never guessed a simple picture would garner this much discussion - my interest in hybrids has been extremely peeked.
Comment by Michael Thompson on March 2, 2010 at 9:36pm
Zig, my only explanation is that fish just like that one are common here in MN and we are way outside the range of redbreasts. here is a pic of one I got this summer, granted, it doesnt have as much blue markings, but it does have that long gill flap, and I have caught many exactly the same color , just don't have any pics of them. I could be wrong, but i doubt it... ;-)


here is a link to the pic

Comment by Jim Gronaw on March 2, 2010 at 7:14pm
Wow...amazing fish, for sure!

My best guess would be a bluegill/redbreast cross. The earflap is not elongated like the pure redbreasts, but looks more like that of a bluegill. Yet the mouth and head symetry look like that of the redbreast rather than a bluegill. This could be somewhat rare. Whatever it is, it's a beauty!
Comment by David Merical on March 2, 2010 at 1:19pm
Bruce and Sarah,
I've caught similar "hybrids" (quotations, because that's MY designation only) in nearly every public pond I've fished. All of the ponds have bluegills. Most have a very few green sunfish. None (that I know of so far) have any other type of sunfish. They do have crappies, but I've never heard of crappies hybridizing easily (except white & black crappies).

So...I've always assumed what I've been catching are Bluegill x Green Sunfish hybrids.

Lately I've been wondering if perhaps they ARE pumpkinseeds, but the color on the edge of the opercle is sort of a faded orange...not red. So...I'm still guessing.
Comment by Bruce Condello on March 2, 2010 at 10:28am
I personally believe that all three photos just posted are purebred RBS females.

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