Pumpkinseed sunfish – Lepomis gibbosus
How to reduce the threat of this predatory fish by using its native competitor
The pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) is a fish from North America which has found its way into the fresh waters of the Benelux. Other names are, common sunfish, kivver, pond perch and sun perch. It is a harmful invasive species in Europe that of which tradekeep and transport is forbidden in the countries of the European Union. Because the pumpkinseed reproduces very easily, the populations in natural waters have grown explosively. This poses a considerable threat to the native species in these waters. The species feeds on the eggs and brood of other fish species and amphibians. This has major consequences on the ecosystem.
Deutsch: (Gemeiner) Sonnenbarsch
Français: Perche-soleil, crapet-soleil
Ecosystem resilience approach to sunfish
When tackling sunfish, we in LIFE Resilias, choose to strengthen the system by bringing in a competitor; the pike. This natural enemy preys on pumpkinseed and can make a valuable contribution to reducing and controlling the population of this invasive fish species.
The pumpkinseed was a popular pond fish, and which could also be kept in aquariums. Not only are its colours appreciated, in garden ponds this fish eats mosquito larvae, leeches and worms that parasitise other pond fish.
The pumpkinseed is a fish that grows up to 15 centimetres. It originates from the east coast and the centre of the United States. In the Netherlands, the pumpkinseed is found in many small enclosed, more or less natural freshwaters on the high sandy grounds. The young fish live in schools; adults are territorial.