Unlike other freshwater fish, Lepomis megalotis reproduction occurs in small groups or nests in the water. The male Lepomis megalotis chooses where the nest will be placed, usually in shallow warmer waters on gravel surfaces near vegetation (Dupis, H.M.C. and Keenleyside, M.H.A., 1988). During the summer months in between May and August,  the Lepomis megalotis will reproduce many times due to the warm temperatures of the water. A female can lay as many as 22,000 eggs at one time (Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 2012). After the eggs are laid in the nest, the male Lepomis megalotis will guard the nest until the eggs are hatched. The males are known to be very aggressive when guarding the eggs.

Males have a pattern to create the nests in close proximity of each other despite the aggression they have while the eggs develop (Bietz, 1981).  In the study conducted by H.M.C. Dupis and M.H.A. Keenleyside, they concluded that the females were more likely to mate with the males that created nests in close proximity of another nest instead of being secluded (1988).


Nests of Lepomis megalotis shown in shallow waters.