The Spotted Bass
) is a species
of freshwater fish
) of order Perciformes
. One of the black basses
, it is native to the Mississippi River
basin and across
theGulf States, from
central Texas through the
Florida panhandle. Its native range extends into the western
Mid-Atlantic States and it has
been introduced into eastern North Carolina and Virginia.
has also been introduced to southern Africa
where it has become established in some isolated waters. It is
often mistaken with the similar and more common largemouth bass
A convenient way to distinguish between a largemouth bass
and a spotted bass is by the
size of the mouth. A spotted bass will resemble a largemouth bass
in coloration but will have a smaller mouth, similar to the mouth
size of a smallmouth bass
can reach an overall length of almost
(25 in), reaching
weights of up to 4.6 kg (10 lb
). It can reach an age of at least seven
years. It is noted for the pattern of irregularly-shaped dark spots
on its upper body, which give it its common name.
Preferring cool and warm mountain streams and reservoirs with rocky
bottoms, the spotted bass feeds on insects
worms, and smaller fish.
It has now been determined that the "Spotted Bass" found in the
Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers, and their lakes, are a new species,
now known as the "Alabama Bass".
- FishBase: Micropterus punctulatus
- Rohde, F. C., et al. Freshwater Fishes of the
Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1994.