New York Natural Heritage Program
Northern Sunfish
Lepomis peltastes Cope, 1870
Ray-finned Fishes
Northern Sunfish (Lepomis peltastes)
Family: sunfishes and freshwater basses (Centrarchidae)

State Protection: Threatened
A native species likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future in New York (includes any species listed as federally Threatened by the United States). It is illegal to take, import, transport, possess, or sell an animal listed as Threatened, or its parts, without a permit from NYSDEC. 1) Any native species likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future in New York. 2) Any species listed as threatened by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: Typically 5 or fewer occurrences, very few remaining individuals, acres, or miles of stream, or some factor of its biology makes it especially vulnerable in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
The subspecies of longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis peltastes) found in New York was determined to be a separate species from Lepomis megalotis and is now called the northern sunfish (Lepomis peltastes). The American Fisheries Society changed its designation from a subspecies to a separate species in 2013 (The American Fisheries Society 2013).

State Ranking Justification [-]
Northern sunfish have declined so much that they are no longer detectable. They are threatened by hybridization with other Lepomis species, invasive fish and intensive agricultural practices (and other land uses) that contribute to poor water quality from runoff, pollution, and siltation.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]