Spotted bass

Spotted bass

Micropterus punctulatus

Common name:

Spotted bass

Scientific name:

Micropterus punctulatus

Alternative common names:


The spotted bass has been introduced to southern Africa where it has become established in some isolated waters. Similar to the largemouth and the smallmouth bass, it is called the ‘in-between’ species. It is distinguished from the smallmouth bass by the dark, blotchy lateral band from head to tail. It tends to be found in areas with more current than largemouth bass like, and usually inhabits areas that are too warm, turbid and sluggish for smallmouth bass.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

North America.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Midmar Dam area in KwaZulu-Natal.

How does it spread?

Intentional stocking for sport fishing.

Why is it a problem?

Spotted bass feed on indigenous species including insects, larger crustaceans, minnows, frogs, worms, grubs and small fish.

What does it look like?

Description: The spotted bass has a moderately compressed, elongated body, with similar colouration and markings to the largemouth bass.

Habitat: Found in warm, slow-moving streams and stream-like areas or riverine arms of reservoirs.

Breeding: Females may lay between 1 150-47 000 eggs. They spawn in late spring; eggs hatch after about five days at 14-16 degrees Celsius. Males guard the eggs during incubation and for up to four weeks after they have hatched.

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