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Spotted Bass
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Micropterus
Species: M. punctulatus
Binomial name
Micropterus punctulatus
(Rafinesque, 1819)

The Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus) is a species of freshwater fish sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. One of the black basses, it is native to the Mississippi River basin and across the Gulf 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. It 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.

M. punctulatus can reach an overall length of almost 64 cm (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, crustaceans, frogs, annelid 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".

Typical Spotted Bass From Tallapoosa River near Tallassee, Alabama (Released)



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