Largemouth bass

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Largemouth Bass
Conservation status: Secure
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Micropterus_salmoides.jpg
Largemouth bass


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Actinopterygii
Order:Perciformes
Family:Centrarchidae
Genus:Micropterus
Species:M. salmoides
Binomial name
Micropterus salmoides
(Lacpde, 1802)

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. One of the black basses, it is native to a wide area east of the Rocky Mountains in North America, encompassing the Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence RiverGreat Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay basin, as well as down into Florida, Texas, and northeastern Mexico.

The largemouth bass is marked by a series of dark blotches forming a ragged horizontal stripe along the length of each side ("lateral lines"). The lateral lines are used by a largemouth bass as motion detectors to locate prey or avoid being prey at night or in other dark water conditions. The upper jaw of a largemouth bass extends beyond the back of the eye. The largest of the black basses, it has reached a maximum recorded overall length of 97 cm (38 in), and a maximum recorded weight of 10 kg (22 lb). It can live as long as 23 years.

M. salmoides prefers a habitat of warm, calm, clear water and is usually found in slow-moving streams, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. A predatory fish, the largemouth bass eats other fish, frogs, crayfish, even small ducklings—any animals it can swallow. It is reported to be cannibalistic. The young feed primarily on smaller crustaceans and fish, as well as insects.

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Micropterus_salmoides_2.jpg
M. salmoides

Females can lay up to a million eggs during each spawning.

This species is highly sought after for recreational fishing. It has been very widely introduced for this purpose throughout the world, and is now considered cosmopolitan. In some counties, its introduction has damaged ecosystems and harmed native species, and IUCN considers it one of the world's 100 worst invasive species.

The largemouth bass is the state fish of Mississippi.

The largemouth bass is also known as the Oswego bass.


References

  • FishBase: Micropterus salmoides (http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Micropterus&speciesname=salmoides)
  • ITIS: Micropterus salmoides (http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=168160)
  • Byerly, Tracy. "Micropterus salmoides: Information (http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Micropterus_salmoides.html)". Animal Diversity Web. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, 2000.
  • "Ecology of Microptera salmoides (http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=94)". Global Invasive Species Database. Updated 22 September 2004.
  • Rohde, F. C., et al. Freshwater Fishes of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

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