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Black crappie


Black crappies are most accurately identified by the seven or eight spines on its dorsal fin (white crappies have five or six dorsal spines).[2] Crappies have a deep and laterally compressed body. They are usually silvery-gray to green in color and show irregular or mottled black splotches over the entire body.[2][3] Black crappies have rows of dark spots on their dorsal, anal, and caudal fins.[2] The dorsal and anal fins resemble each other in shape.[2] Both crappies have large mouths extending to below the eye, and thin lips—both suggestive of their piscivorous feeding habits.[2][4] Crappies are typically about 4–8 inches (10–20 cm) long. The current all-tackle fishing world record for a black crappie is 2.25 kg (5 lbs. 0 oz.).[5] The maximum length reported for a black crappie is 19.3 inches (49 cm) and the maximum published weight is just under 6 pounds (2,700 g).[2]

Feeding Habits: 
Crappies feed early in the morning and from about midnight until approximately 2am. Individuals smaller than about 16 cm in length eat plankton and minuscule crustaceans, while larger individuals feed on small fish (like shad), as well as minnows.[2] Adult black crappie feed on fewer fish than white crappie do; instead they consume a larger volume of insects and crustaceans.[3] According to scientific studies carried out in California, mysid shrimp, Neomysis awatschensis, as well as amphipods, and Corophium, were the most commonly eaten by all sizes of black crappie. Although this diet is popular among black crappies in general, their diet may significantly change based on habitat, availability of food, and other biotic factors such as amount of resource competition.[11] The same study also showed that young, small crappie tend to feed on small aquatic invertebrate animals and changed to a fish-filled diet as they matured to adulthood.[11] Its diet, as an adult, tends to be less dominated by other fish than that of the white crappie.[7][8]

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