Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabit clear, gravelly flowing pools and runs of creeks and small to medium rivers (Ref. 6465); also found in streams, lakes and reservoirs (Ref. 10294). Juveniles feed on small crustaceans and midge larvae while adults eat insects, larger crustaceans, frogs, worms, grubs and small fish (Ref. 6465, 10294).
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Distribution

endemic to a single nation

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Range Description

Native throughout central and lower Mississippi River basin from southern Ohio and West Virginia to southeastern Kansas and south to the Gulf; Gulf drainages from Chattahoochee River (where possibly introduced), Georgia, to Guadalupe River, Texas; introduced on Atlantic Slope in Virginia and North Carolina, in lower Pecos River, New Mexico, and Consummes and Feather rivers, California (Page and Burr 1991).
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North America: Mississippi River basin from southern Ohio and West Virginia to southeastern Kansas, and south to the Gulf of Mexico, USA; Gulf Slope drainages from Chattahoochee in Georgia to Guadalupe River in Texas, USA. Introduced in southern Africa and has become established in several isolated water bodies.
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Widespread in the U.S.A., also introduced.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Native throughout central and lower Mississippi River basin from southern Ohio and West Virginia to southeastern Kansas and south to the Gulf; Gulf drainages from Chattahoochee River (where possibly introduced), Georgia, to Guadalupe River, Texas; introduced on Atlantic Slope in Virginia and North Carolina, in lower Pecos River, New Mexico, and Consummes and Feather rivers, California (Page and Burr 1991).

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 35 cm

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Maximum size: 610 mm TL
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Max. size

63.5 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637)); max. published weight: 4,650 g (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 12193)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: Small clear creeks with moderate to swift current and gravel to coarse sand substrate; moderate size, clear, low gradient sections of rivers with gravel substrate; and reservoirs (especially large deep oligotrophic ones). Secretive pool dweller in streams; in reservoirs adults mostly in deeper water, young near shore. After leaving nest, juveniles usually in schools in backwater or cove areas near cover (Sublette et al. 1990). Eggs are laid in a nest made by the male on bottoms ranging from mud to gravel in low-current areas (Moyle 1976), at depths averaging 1.5-6.7 m in reservoirs, 33-73 cm in streams.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Small clear creeks with moderate to swift current and gravel to coarse sand substrate; moderate size, clear, low gradient sections of rivers with gravel substrate; and reservoirs (especially large deep oligotrophic ones). Secretive pool dweller in streams; in reservoirs adults mostly in deeper water, young near shore. After leaving nest, juveniles usually in schools in backwater or cove areas near cover (Sublette et al. 1990). Eggs are laid in a nest made by the male on bottoms ranging from mud to gravel in low-current areas (Moyle 1976), at depths averaging 1.5-6.7 m in reservoirs, 33-73 cm in streams.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

demersal; freshwater
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Each adult frequently remains in one limited area for most of year, such as single stream pool, but spawning migrations are common in spring (Moyle 1976).

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Juveniles feed initially on zooplankton; larger individuals eat crayfishes, aquatic insects, and small fishes.

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General Ecology

Adults may stay in single stream pool for most of year (Moyle 1976). Juveniles swim in schools that disperse when fishes are about 30 mm long.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Feeding activity mainly crepuscular.

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Life Cycle

Assuming same reproductive mode as M. dolomieu.
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Reproduction

Spawns in late spring; eggs hatch in about 5 days at 14-16 C; sexually mature in 2nd or 3rd year; male guards eggs and hatchlings (Moyle 1976).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Micropterus punctulatus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 5 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CCTCTATTTAGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCCGGAATAGTGGGCACAGCCCTGAGCCTGCTAATTCGTGCAGAACTAAGCCAGCCCGGCGCTCTTCTAGGGGATGACCAGATCTACAATGTAATTGTTACAGCGCATGCATTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCCATTATAATTGGAGGCTTTGGCAACTGACTTATCCCCCTAATGATCGGTGCCCCCGACATAGCATTCCCTCGAATAAACAACATAAGCTTTTGGCTTCTTCCCCCATCTTTCCTTCTCCTGCTCGCCTCTTCCGGGGTCGAAGCTGGAGCTGGCACTGGGTGAACTGTCTACCCCCCTCTTGCCGGCAACCTGGCCCATGCAGGAGCATCCGTTGACCTAACCATCTTCTCTCTTCATCTTGCGGGTGTCTCCTCCATCCTAGGGGCCATCAATTTTATTACCACAATTATTAATATAAAACCCCCAGCTATTTCCCAGTATCAGACACCCTTGTTTGTTTGGTCCGTCTTAATTACTGCCGTCCTACTCCTTTTATCGCTCCCAGTCCTCGCTGCTGGCATTACAATGCTCCTTACGGATCGAAACCTCAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCCGCAGGAGGGGGAGACCCCATTCTCTACCAACACTTA
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Micropterus punctulatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
NatureServe

Reviewer/s
Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations, large population size, and lack of major threats. Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable, or the species may be declining but not fast enough to qualify for any of the threatened categories under Criterion A (reduction in population size).
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Population

Population
This species is represented by a large number of subpopulations and locations.

Total adult population size is unknown but relatively large.

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable or slowly declining.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Comments: Localized threats may exist, but on a range-wide scale no major threats are known.

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Major Threats
Localized threats may exist, but on a range-wide scale no major threats are known.
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Not Evaluated
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

gamefish: yes
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Wikipedia

Spotted bass

The spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus), also called spotty, or spots in various fishing communities, is a species of freshwater fish of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of the 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 western 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 for 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.

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 rows of dark spots below the lateral line, 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.

In 2010, the scientific community officially recognized a separate subspecies of spotted bass, native to the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers, and their lakes. This species is commonly known as the "Alabama spotted bass" (M. henshalli) and known locally as the "Coosa spotted bass", not to be confused with the "red-eye Coosa bass" found in northeast Georgia.[1]

The Alabama spotted is highly prized as a gamefish and average size is much larger than the more common Kentucky spotted bass. The current record spotted bass, caught in Pine Flat Lake, California, weighed 10.27 lb. [2]

Typical spotted bass From Tallapoosa River near Tallassee, Alabama (released)

References[edit]

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Micropterus henshalli of the Mobile River basin formerly was included in M. punctulatus; Baker et al. (2008) recognized henshalli as a distinct species.

This species has hybridized with smallmouth bass in Missouri (Koppleman 1994). Nominal subspecies wichitae is an invalid taxon (= M. punctulatus, or M. punctulatus X M. dolomieu) (Cofer 1995). See Coughlin et al. (2003) for information on the genetic makeup of populations in the Red and Arkansas river basins (including further indication that wichitae does not warrant recognition as a distinct taxon).

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