Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopeterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Lepomis
Species: Lepomis megalotis

Why are they classified this way?
Domain Eukarya: classified under Domain Eukarya because they are  composed of many eukaryotic cells that are able to divide by mitosis (Hickman et al. 2011).

Kingdom Animalia: classified as Kingdom Animalia because they are a multicellular heterotrophic vertebrates (Hickman et al. 2011).

Phylum Chordata: due to the presence of bilateral symmetry and notocord. They also have a chambered heart and they live in marine environments (Hickman et al. 2011).

Class Actinopeterygii: due to the fact they possess ray fins. Ray fins are webs of skin supported by bones or spines on the fish. Also, their gills are protected by a bony flap (Hickman et al. 2011).   More information about the Ray fins  and the gill covers can be found on the Anatomy page of this website.

Order Perciformes: As one of the members of the largest order, the Lepomis megalotis is classified as Perciformes due to the presence of spines, the dorsal and anal fins, rough scales, and the presence of a lateral line (Bray, 2011).

Family Centrarchidae: They are a freshwater ray finned sunfish. They are small in size and are acclaimed to have at least three anal spines (Goodie, 1987).

Genus and Species: The name Lepomis megalotis originates from Greece, with Lepomis meaning "scaled gill cover" and megalotis meaning "great ear." These descriptions are referring to the Opercular Flaps of the fish (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 2012).