A frequently asked question is "How do I identify a coppernose bluegill?"
Here are some photos, and an informative narration on this subject. Bigbluegill member "Ewest" generously assisted with compiling this blog.
Coppernose bluegill have been around for a long time. They are only one of three recognized subspecies of bluegill (lepomis macrochirus). Coppernose (lepomis macrochirus purpurescens) is native to Peninsular of Florida. Coppernose bluegill have 12 soft rays on their anal fin as opposed to 11 soft rays found on the regular bluegill. Coppernose have fewer but wider vertical bars on their sides than do regular (common or native ) bluegill. Coppernose also have orange margins to their fins. Male coppernose has a broad copper band above the eye or forehead and are prominent during spawning season. Reproduction of the Coppernose is about the same as with most all bluegill.
The Coppernose bluegill is known for its colorful markings. The fins of the coppernose have a reddish orange fringe outline with a pencil thin white border. The vertical bars on the sides are more distinct and broader especially in the young. The distinct copper band across the head which is brilliant on the male is the reason for the common name "coppernose".
THE COPPERNOSE BLUEGILL (CNBG) IS ALSO A FLORIDA STRAIN. IT IS EASILY DISTINGUISHED FROM THE NORTHERN BLUEGILL BY ITS COLORATION AND MARKINGS. THE FINS OF THE CNBG ARE REDDISH-ORANGE WITH A THIN WHITE MARGIN. THE TYPICAL VERTICAL BAR PATTERN OF THE BLUEGILL IS PRONOUNCED IN THE COPPERNOSE, AND VERY DISTINCTIVE. ADULT MALES HAVE A BROAD COPPER BAND ACROSS THE HEAD THAT IS THE TRADEMARK OF THE STRAIN.
Here is a photo showing the classic light fin bordering of a male coppernose bluegill. If you look closely you can see the copper band across the forehead.
Now, here's a female coppernose bluegill.
Here's another shot of a male coppernose bluegill. Again, note the beautiful light fin border.
And finally, here's another shot of a male coppernose bluegill, this time with a better angle to observe the copper-colored band.
Bear in mind that if you have any desire to stock coppernose bluegill in your pond, you will need to take into account that your climate needs to be warmer, year around, than standard lepomis macrochirus require.