The black bass are distributed throughout a large area east of the Rocky Mountains in North America, from the Hudson Bay basin in Canada to northeastern Mexico. Several species, notably the Largemouth and Smallmouth basses, have been very widely introduced throughout the world, and are now considered cosmopolitan. Black bass of all species are highly sought-after game fish, and bass fishing is an extremely popular sport throughout the bass's native range. These fish are well known as strong fighters, and their meat is eaten, being quite edible and firm.
All Micropterus species have a dull-green base coloring with dark patterns on the sides. Most reach a maximum overall length of 40–60 cm (16–24 in), but some strains of the largemouth bass have been reported to grow to almost a full meter (just over three feet) in length.
The male builds a "bed" (nest) in which a female is induced to deposit her eggs and then fertilizes them. The male continues to guard the eggs and fry until they disperse from the nest.
Various species have been introduced into freshwater bodies in Japan, where they have been declared nuisance fish, and subjected to numerous attempts at eradicating them from local ecosystems.