Biology of Redbreast Sunfish in Beaver Ponds

Redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) is an abundant member comprising 30% of total biomass of the fish community in beaver ponds in piedmont South Carolina. Total length-weight relationship for 534 redbreast sunfish collected from 36 beaver ponds was: 10g10Wg = - 5.06 + 3.12 log10TLmm• Mean back-calculated TL for age classes I-V were 41,75, 102, 128, and 147 mm, respectively. Growth of males was faster than the growth of females, and males appeared to have better survival. Sex ratio favored males 1.00: 1.32. Redbreast sunfish spawned from May through August after water temperatures reached 23° C. Mature females (>76 mm TL) contained approximately 3,000 ova. Most of the redbreast sunfish (96.6%) examined contained food. Redbreast sunfish feed primarily on aquatic insects such as chironomids, ceratopogonids, ephemeropterans, trichopterans, and odonate larvae. Fish occurred infrequently in redbreast stomachs but comprised 26.5% of the total stomach volume.

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