As bottom feeders, their preferred food is snails, but they additionally eat other shelled animals. Their thick, difficult teeth permit them to squash the skeletal systems of shelled pets. These teeth are at the rear of their mouths, and allow them to operate like a nutcracker by crushing the coverings of snails, thus the label, "shellcracker". They can even open small clams. They will also eat larvae, fish eggs, as well as crayfish. Because of its specific meals specific niche, Redear sunfish can live lakes without competing for the very same food of fish that prefer area eating. And considering that snails could spread condition, and also considering that snails are just one of Redear's preferred foods, these fish are made use of in lake management tasks to regulate snails.
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They reside in ponds, rivers, lakes, and storage tanks. They prefer warm physical bodies of water with little to no present. Given that they are bottom fish, they such as a wealth of cover from submerged trees or water vegetation.