Diet of the Pumpkinseed

The diet of the Pumpkinseed Sunfish consists of many different options. Insects, insect larvae, mollusks, snails, crustaceans, and small fish make up the main portion of the pumpkinseed diet. Studies in different areas show that pumpkinseeds feed primarily on gastropods. But there are less important items of the Pumpkinseed diet such as plant debris and small littoral macroinvertabrates. Some of the adult species will actually eat smaller individuals of their species. 

damselfly  mollusks snails

The Pumpkinseed Sunfish has developed two specific structure that aid in its nutrient acquisition. The first is the teeth. In the front of the mouth there are small blunt teeth that would be used for grabbing objects small objects, and sets of molars toward the back of the mouth for grinding any plant debris that they intake. The second structure that the Pumpkinseed has to aid in food capture is gill rakes. These are small comb like structures on the gills that filter out small food particles as the water passes through the gills.   

To learn more about the damselfly, visit this site:

Back to home page: Web page