Unique Characters: Short black ear flap with a red edge with a white margin. Cheeks and sides with dark spots in adults, bars in young. Long pointed pectoral fin. Fairly pointed snout. Fins mostly clear. Edge of opercle flexible.
Similar Species: Pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus. Wavy iridescent blue lines on side of head. Red or orange spot on black ear flap. Sides with many yellow to orange spots. Brown wavy lines or orange spots in second dorsal fin and anal fin. Stiff edge on rear of opercle. Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus. Conspicuous large blotch/smudge at rear of dorsal fin. Other fins are clear. Short black ear flap. Wide dark vertical bars on the sides.