© Joseph Dougherty. All rights reserved.
Lepomis humilis Girard, 1858
In North America, this species is common in many places; it ranges from the great lakes to Hudson Bay, from the Mississippi river down to the Gulf coast and in the Colorado River from Alabama to Texas. Some studies find that in general, L. humilis tend to live in turbid, long, large lakes, which is evident by its geographic distribution. The orangespotted sunfish is found in the Canard River near Ontario, Canada, though it is an introduced species. In TX, this species has been introduced in the past as far south as the Rio Grande basin.
The orangespotted sunfish prefers to reside in shallow, silt-laden waters such as floodplain pools, or will inhabit waters with fine substrates such as sand. As species of the fish age and develop, they explore new territories and expand their ecological limits through migration. The dominant prey of L. humilis includes insects, such as corixids and chironomids, zooplankton, other small invertebrates that live in the water column, and fish. Though orangespotted sunfish can be found in different parts of a lake, their prey items do not vary much throughout the lake compared to other sunfish species. If L. humilis is reared in an environment with altered prey availability, the species has been found to show phenotypic plasticity or morphological differences in response to this changed environmental condition. Certain prey types require different methods of prey capture, so as L. humilis develop, their body can be more elongate with an angled snout, or more deep bodied with a blunt snout, depending on the prey type.