Green sunfish have 41 to 53 lateral line scales. The dorsal fin usually has 10 (rarely nine or 11) spines and 10 to 12 rays. The anal fin has three spines and eight to 11 rays. Palatine teeth are present in the roof of the mouth. The pectoral fin is short and does not reach the nostril when bent forward. The mouth is large, the upper jaw extending to near the middle of the eye. The ear flap is elongate, black, and usually inflexible to near its margin. Body color is brownish green on the back and sides with rows of small, metallic blue spots toward the head and irregularly spaced spots toward the tail. A large black spot occurs near the rear of the soft dorsal and anal fins. The edges of the pelvic, anal, caudal, and soft dorsal fins are yellow to orange, becoming much brighter during the spawning season. Adult size: 4 to 8 inches.