The black crappie is commonly found in lakes and streams around the United States.  Many humans catch these fish and consume them because they have a succulent texture.  The black crappie’s Latin name is Pomoxis nigromaculatus.  Pomoxis is derived from the Greek roots “poma” and “oxys,” which means sharp operculum.  The operculum is a flap that covers the gills of the black crappie.  Nigromaculatus is a Latin word that means black spotted.  

Black crappies generally live to be about five years old, grow to be 12-14 inches long, and weigh about one to two pounds.  Pomoxis nigromaculatus is characterized by its unique black spotted pattern and seven to eight dorsal spines.  They tend to live in groups and play an important role in aquatic ecosystems.


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Pomoxis nigromaculatus.  Photo by Andy Camper.