Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède, 1802)
Largemouth black bass
Micropterus salmoides
photo by Scarola, J.F.

Family:  Centrarchidae (Sunfishes)
Max. size:  97 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 10 kg; max. reported age: 23 years
Environment:  benthopelagic; freshwater; pH range: 7 - 7.5; dH range: 10; depth range 0 - 6 m
Distribution:  North America: St. Lawrence - Great Lakes, and Mississippi River basins from southern Quebec to Minnesota and south to Gulf; Atlantic and Gulf drainages from North Carolina to Florida and to northern Mexico. The species has been introduced widely as a game fish and is now cosmopolitan. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 10-10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-14; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 10-12; Vertebrae: 30-32. Mouth large; maxillary extending beyond the eye. Pelvic fins not joined by a membrane. Green to olive dorsally, milk-white to yellow ventrally, with a black band running from the operculum to the base of the caudal fin. Caudal fin rounded. Caudal fin with 17 rays (Ref. 2196).
Biology:  Inhabit lakes, ponds, swamps, and backwaters and pools of creeks, and small to large rivers (Ref. 86798). Usually found over mud or sand and common in impoundments (Ref. 5723). They prefer quiet, clear water and over-grown banks. Adults feed on fishes, crayfish and frogs; young feed on crustaceans, insects and small fishes. Sometimes cannibalistic. They don't feed during spawning; as well as when the water temperature is below 5°C and above 37°C (Ref. 30578). Builds nest at 25 mm-203 mm deep (Ref. 1998). An introduced species in Europe reported to avoid fast-flowing waters and to occur in estuaries with a salinity up to 13 ppt (Ref. 59043). Popular game fish in North America. Preyed upon by herons, bitterns, and kingfishers (Ref. 1998). Excellent food fish (Ref. 1998).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 14 November 2018 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  potential pest
Country info:  Introduced by Alvin Seale from California, USA in 1907 as a food fish and for sport. Reintroduced in 1915 and 1958. Stocked in Trinidad Lake, Province of Benguet and in Caliraya Lake in Laguna Province. Established in Lake Caliraya. Reported from Lake Lanao (Ref. 13446, 81887, 95183). Also Ref. 1739, 1998, 6346.

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