Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Centrarchidae
Etymology: Micropterus: Greek, mikros = small + Greek,pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335); salmoides: salmoides meaning trout-like (Ref. 1998).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: 10 - ?; depth range ? - 7 m (Ref. 1998). Subtropical; 10°C - 32°C (Ref. 12741), preferred ?; 47°N - 26°N
North America: St. Lawrence - Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins; Atlantic drainages from North Carolina to Florida and to northern Mexico. The species has been introduced widely as a game fish and is now cosmopolitan. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 97.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); max. published weight: 10.1 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 23 years (Ref. 46974)
soft rays: 10 - 12;
Vertebrae: 30 - 32. Mouth large; maxillary extending beyond the eye. Pelvic fins not joined by a membrane. Green to olive dorsally, milk-white to yellow ventrally, with a black band running from the operculum to the base of the caudal fin. Caudal fin rounded. Caudal fin with 17 rays (Ref. 2196).
Adults inhabit clear, vegetated lakes, ponds, swamps, and backwaters and pools of creeks and rivers (Ref. 5723). Usually found over mud or sand and common in impoundments (Ref. 5723). They prefer quiet, clear water and over-grown banks. Adults feed on fishes, crayfish and frogs; young feed on crustaceans, insects and small fishes. Sometimes cannibalistic. They don't feed during spawning; as well as when the water temperature is below 5°C and above 37°C (Ref. 30578). An introduced species in Europe reported to avoid fast-flowing waters and to occur in estuaries with a salinity up to 13 ppt (Ref. 59043). Popular game fish in North America. Preyed upon by herons, bitterns, and kingfishers (Ref. 1998). Excellent food fish (Ref. 1998).
The male which becomes aggressive and territorial builds the nest on muddy bottoms of shallow water. A female may spawn with several males on different nests. The male guards and fans the eggs for about 29 days (Ref. 93240). Spawning takes place spring to summer or when temperature reaches 15°C. Adults mate between the age of 5-12 years (Ref. 11243). Also Ref, 88808).
Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums