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Mud Sunfish


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#1 mattknepley

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 09:46 AM

My oldest daughter and I were in south Georgia visiting Valdosta State in very early February. Of course, we found some time to do some nature nerding, including checking out the resident fish life at Grand Bay WMA. Loads of Pygmy Killies, no shortage of pygmy sunfish (Okefenokees, I believe), Fliers, Bluespot Sunnies, and Banded Sunnies. But the prize of the day is this critter...

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Yup, it's the same fish. It goes through pattern changes fairly quickly. The water appears brown because it is. I brought home several gallons of the fish's native water, and plants and sediment, too. Even after a month and a half and water changes, it's still pretty dark in that tank. Everybody seems to like it though...
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#2 gerald

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 11:08 AM

Mud suns make wonderful pets.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#3 centrarchid

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 11:14 AM

I still want to play with those sometime.


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#4 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 12:32 PM

Very cool!

#5 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 02:37 PM

Sandwich approves of that war-paint-y face.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#6 JasonL

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 02:42 PM

Do they behave like warmouth in aquaria? Wish we had muds where I live.

#7 gerald

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 11:10 PM

They remind me of Oscar cichlids in behavior.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#8 centrarchid

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 05:52 AM

Look at size and shape of the pectoral fin.  Something is up with it either in adults or an early lifestage.


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#9 mattknepley

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 06:04 AM

I haven't ever had Warmouth, but this mud seems to stay in the open more than the Warmouths I have seen. Whether this is because this is how he wants it, or because the pair of Banded Sunfish he shares his home with control the best hiding spot, I don't know. Definitely very comfortable and confident in the tank, though. Always comes over to watch me when I'm around, and tease for a little food. The thing is a VERY aggressive feeder, too. Curiously, it does not harass the two much-less-beefy Bluespots or the Bandeds. Any non-sunfish in there is in for a fatal beat down, from what I've seen.

Kinda funny how things work out. I only kept it because I knew how popular they are with other NANFAns. It didn't really do much for me, nor did the only other one I had seen several years ago. I tried to give it to the two closest NANFAns I have easy access to. Michael W. declined saying he was a "minnow guy" and encouraged me to keep it. I tried to give it to Dustin, and he was interested, but meeting up was going to take longer than expected and shortly enough the fish had won me over and I'd come to see why they're so popular. By that time the fish had earned the name "Meat", cuz well, it just seemed to fit. I sheepishly asked Dustin if he'd mind if I kept the fish and he allowed me to. As a token of gratitude, I have renamed the critter "Dustin Meat". (If it is ever determined the fish is a female, she'll be "Dustina". :P
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#10 Dustin

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 07:38 AM

 As a token of gratitude, I have renamed the critter "Dustin Meat". (If it is ever determined the fish is a female, she'll be "Dustina". :P

 

Um, thanks, I think.

 

Beautiful fish Matt.  I actually just caught one about that exact same size this past weekend at Bahama Swamp.  I was in the area so I checked in on the okatie.  Only got two females in about 30 scoops, but probably close to 100 evergladei.  I'm a little worried about them.


Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC


#11 mattknepley

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 04:01 PM

Gee, "honored" was the word you used before. Course, that was afore you knew about the "Meat" part of the moniker. I'm hoping I might find another one in the near future, set up a stock pond for 'em, hope I get lucky on the sexes, and see if I can't get some fry.

It's been at least a year since I've been in Bahama Swamp. Don't recall any Okaties then, either. Not sure of the time of year. Don't recall Evergladei either, so maybe the time wasn't right. Stopped at some roadside ditches outside Jasper park and did get plenty of non-Okatie pygmies, but no Okaties. Hopefully the little dudes are just in a different area than we are...
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#12 fritz

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 01:38 PM

Some years I found mostly okaties and in other years mostly zonatum.  But that was several decades ago.  Go to see that someone is checking on them.



#13 Dustin

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 09:38 AM

I don't remember seeing zonatum there over the last 12-15 years, at least not in numbers.  For a while, it was almost entirely okatie, and a lot of them.  Now it is almost entirely evergladei, and a lot of them.


Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC


#14 sbtgrfan

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 09:52 PM

I’ve found all three there within the past 2 years, okatie with the larger numbers and zonatum coming in low numbers. This was at least 2 years ago.
Stephen Beaman
Freshwater Aquarist
South Carolina Aquarium
Charleston, SC

#15 LucasB

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 05:45 AM

Some years I found mostly okaties and in other years mostly zonatum.  But that was several decades ago.  Go to see that someone is checking on them.

Why does this happen, I wonder. Does it have something to do with the conditions that change year by year?
 






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