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Male vs. Female black banded sunfish

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#1 Guest_captmicha_*

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:09 PM

I can't find good enough pictures to be able to sex the fish. I know that the males are supposed to be darker, sometimes all black, but I'm not seeing that. Does anyone have a male vs. female picture with a clear difference or know of another way to tell the gender of this species? Thanks for any advice.

#2 Guest_Dustin_*

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:37 PM

I have seen thousands of blackbanded sunfish over the years, but I have never seen an all black one. I have seen them with irregualr or missing bands though. I have also tried to discern male from female and have been unsuccessful except for during breeding season when the females will be fatter than the males. I am certain that smbass(Brian Zimmerman) can tell you specifically how to sex them if he chimes in though. If he doesn't, I would recommend sending him a PM.

#3 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:20 AM

Juveniles all look the same to me, but in adults I look for these sexual features: (no guarantee)!

1. Females have sharper contrast between black bands and tan/brassy areas between bands.
Adult males have a dusky gray haze on the areas between bands, and on fin membranes.
(Breeding males get more gray, especially on fins, and the black bands get fainter).

2. On average, adult females have brighter red-orange on pelvic fins than males (but this varies a lot).

3. Rear edge of opercular flap of males has a gold border than contrasts sharply with the black flap.
Females either lack the gold border on the flap, or have a less-contrasting border.

Have other folks seen these differences between sexes? or other differences?

#4 Guest_centrarchid_*

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:03 PM

You might be able to cheat and use behavior. Place a single fish in each of two aquariums with plenty of plants. Let them acclimate and feed up for a week or so. Then add another to each tank. Breeding male should spin up / give male courtship behaviors. Females and dead-head males will only be aggressive. Females of quality should put on a belly.

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