MorphologyRead full entry
Like other sunfish, bluegill have very deep and highly compressed bodies. In other words, they are "tall" and "flat." They have a small mouth on a short head. The dorsal fin is continuous, with the front part spiny and the back part soft and round with a dark smudge at the base. The tail fin is slightly forked but rounded. The body is mainly olive green with yellowish underneath. Their name "bluegill" comes from the iridescent blue and purple region on the cheek and gill cover (opercle). A close look reveals six to eight olive-colored vertical bars on the sides.
Typically, adults are between 10 and 15 cm but they can grow as large as 41 cm.
Young bluegill are a paler version of the adults, usually silver with a slight purple sheen.
Range mass: 2.2 (high) kg.
Range length: 41.0 (high) cm.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike