Largemouth Bass Micropterus nigricans Cuvier, 1828    Synonyms: Black Bass, Bucketmouth, Line-sides, Micropterus salmoides, Micropterus salmoides salmoides.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Actinopterygii   >   Order Perciformes   >   Family Centrarchidae   >   Genus Micropterus   

Status:

Widespread and common throughout Maryland, where it is an introduced species.

In a recent genetic analysis, Kim et al. (2022) delimited Largemouth Bass and Florida Bass as two valid species. Previous studies have concurred or treated Florida Bass as a subspecies (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) of Largemouth Bass (Micropterus s. salmoides). In the wider fishing community, they are often referred to as northern strain (Largemouth Bass) and southern strain (Florida Bass) Largemouth Bass. Kim et al. (2022) included samples from across most of the native range of Largemouth/Florida Bass and found that Florida Bass range far wider than previously accepted, which included the type locality of Largemouth Bass (Charleston, SC). Thus, the scientific name of Micropterus salmoides is now applied to Florida Bass, relegating M. floridanus as a junior synonym. In order to make the taxonomy sound for Largemouth Bass, a previous junior synonym for Largemouth Bass, Micropterus nigricans (type locality: Lake Huron), was resurrected and now applies to Largemouth Bass.

Confounding the issue further is the morphological similarity of Largemouth and Florida Bass, which can make it difficult to identify fish by visual examination. This is especially true for introduced areas where the source populations are unknown. Florida Bass have higher growth rates and attain a larger maximum size than Largemouth Bass. There are also minor differences in lateral line scale counts, but Florida Bass and Largemouth Bass readily hybridize and will produce intergrades. Being a more southern species, Florida Bass may not be able to tolerate low winter temperatures, which may limit their distribution in more northerly states. Neither Largemouth or Florida Bass are native to Maryland, but given the state's location and the timeframe of introductions, Maryland likely has mostly Largemouth Bass (M. nigricans) in the wild. That said, it's possible someone may have stocked Florida Bass or Largemouth/Florida Bass hybrids at some point. (R. Aguilar, pers. comm.)

There are 381 records in the project database.

View taxon at iNaturalist

View taxon at NatureServe

Search Google Images


[View seasonality details]
GA AL WA FR CL MO HO BA BC HA CE PG AA CV CH SM KE QA CN TA DO WI SOWO 
A Largemouth Bass in Howard Co., Maryland (7/10/2012). Photo by Jon Corcoran. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass in Garrett Co., Maryland (8/29/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass in Carroll Co., Maryland (7/11/2020). Photo by Anthony VanSchoor. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass stalks the shallows near Liberty Reservoir, Maryland (8/20/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A small Largemouth Bass caught in Caroline Co., Maryland (7/23/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass in Harford Co., Maryland (8/29/2018). Photo by Austin Jennings. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass in Howard Co., Maryland (7/15/2016). Photo by Jared Satchell. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass caught in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (10/10/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A large female Largemouth Bass in Howard Co., Maryland (10/2009). Photo by Jon Corcoran. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass in Montgomery Co., Maryland (7/21/2019). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Largemouth Bass in Howard Co., Maryland (8/13/2022). (c) Jacqueline Palacios, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Jacqueline Palacios via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Largemouth Bass in Carroll Co., Maryland (10/18/2020). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

Largemouth Bass in Howard Co., Maryland (7/21/2021). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

Largemouth Bass in Frederick Co., Maryland (9/16/2020). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

A juvenile Largemouth Bass in Calvert Co., Maryland (2/17/2020). Photo by Ben Springer. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass in Carroll Co., Maryland (4/25/2019). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass caught in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/8/2013). Photo by Robert Aguilar, SERC. (MBP list)

Largemouth Bass in Baltimore Co., Maryland (12/22/2021). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass caught in Howard Co., Maryland (6/2016). Photo by Dakota Cheatham. (MBP list)

Largemouth Bass in Howard Co., Maryland (6/6/2019). (c) Gregg Petersen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Gregg Petersen via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass in Washington Co., Maryland (3/11/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Largemouth Bass found dead with a live Black Crappie still stuck in its mouth - Charles Co., Maryland (2/28/2017). The Black Crappie amazingly survived with fisherman assistance and was released. Photo by William Wise. (MBP list)


View All Images

Use of images featured on Maryland Biodiversity Project is only permitted with express permission of the photographer.

View Bibliography