The elassomatid pygmy sunfishes are interesting because of their strong convergence with the true sunfishes (Centrarchidae) and their miniaturization (maximum length 45 mm,but several species are smaller than 20 mm). The six elassomatidspecies are primarily dwellers of swampy habitats in southeastern USA (e.g., Everglades Pygmy Sunfish, Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish). Many males take on iridescent blue coloration during the breeding season.
The actual taxonomic position of this enigmatic group is a matter of some debate, with different authors placing them outsidethe perciform order and more closely aligned with more primitive mugilomorphs, atherinomorphs, gasterosteiforms, or synbranchiforms.
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