The black crappie and white crappie are quite similiar in appearance but after you see a few of each species they are quite easy to tell appart. They both or of similiar color and shape but the white crappie is a bit more greenish and the black crappie is a bit more compressed.
The easiest way to differentiate between the two, however; is the markings on their sides. The white crappie will have the black marking on its side arranged in a few verticle bars. The black crappie however has his black arranged in a random manner forming no pattern at all.
Another way is that the each crappie species has a different number of dorsal spines. Black crappie have 7-8 dorsal spines, while the white crappie has 5-6 spines.
Crappie are schooling predatory fish that feed mainly on smaller fish.