Spotted bass

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The Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus), also called "Spotty", "Leeman", or "Spots" in various fishing communities, is a species of freshwater fish sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of 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 eastern 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 with 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.

It has now been determined that the "Spotted Bass" found in the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers, and their lakes, are a new species, now known as the "Alabama Bass".

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