Florida bass

Florida bass

Micropterus floridanus

Common name:

Florida bass

Scientific name:

Micropterus floridanus

Alternative common names:


The Florida bass is an olive green fish with a series of dark, sometimes black, blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank. The upper jaw extends far beyond the rear margin of the eye. Adult largemouth bass are considered top predators in many habitats where they reside and rarely become prey due to their size, swimming speed and protective dorsal spines.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Florida, United States of America.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b in fish sanctuaries, national parks, provincial reserves, mountain catchment areas and forestry reserves declared in terms of the Protected Areas Act.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern Cape.

How does it spread?

Introduced into many countries due to its popularity as a sport fish.

Why is it a problem?

Florida bass are major a threat to aquatic biodiversity in South Africa because their predation on and competition with indigenous fishes and invertebrates has impacted negatively on aquatic community structure and has fragmented indigenous fish populations.

What does it look like?

Description: Florida bass grow to 10-15cm during their first year, 20-30cm in two years and 40cm in three years. They are usually green with dark blotches that form a horizontal stripe along the middle of the fish on either side. The underside ranges in colour from light green to almost white. They have a nearly divided dorsal fin, with the anterior portion containing nine spines and the posterior portion containing 12-13 soft rays. Their upper jaw reaches far beyond the rear margin of the eye.

Habitat: Florida bass seek protective cover such as logs, rock ledges, vegetation and man-made structures. They prefer clear, quiet water, but will survive quite well in a variety of habitats.

Breeding: The male prepares the nest for the female, which lays between 2 000-4 000 eggs, depending on her size. The male will stay and guard the eggs, which hatch within a week.

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