The sunfishes are a family (Centrarchidae) of freshwater ray-finned fish belonging to the order Perciformes. The family's 30 members includes many familiar species, such as black basses, rock bass, largemouth bass, bluegills, and crappies. All are native only to North America.
Family members are distinguished by having at least three anal spines. The dorsal spines are 5-13 in number, but most species have 10-12. The pseudobranch is small and concealed. Sizes of most are in the 20-30 cm ranges, with the largemouth bass known to reach 97 cm.
The male of most species builds a nest by hollowing out a depression using his tail, then guards the eggs.
Most sunfishes are valued for sports fishing, and have introduced in many areas outside their original ranges.
The marine sunfishes Moliidae are entirely unrelated.