Invasion status of Florida bass Micropterus floridanus (Lesueur, 1822) in South Africa

Published in: African Journal of Aquatic Science
Volume 42, issue 4, 2017 , pages: 359–365
DOI: 10.2989/16085914.2017.1398131
Author(s): OLF WeylDST/NRF Research Chair in Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Ecology, South Africa, MK SchirrmannSouth African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), South Africa, JS HargroveWildlife Ecology and Conservation Department, USA, T BodillSouth African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), South Africa, ER SwartzSouth African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), South Africa


Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides are a popular North American angling species that was introduced into South Africa in 1928. To enhance the largemouth bass fisheries, Florida bass Micropterus floridanus were introduced into KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, in 1980. Knowledge on the status of M. floridanus in South Africa is required, because it lives longer and reaches larger sizes than M. salmoides, which may result in heightened impacts on native biota. Because M. floridanus are morphologically similar, but genetically distinct from M. salmoides, the distribution of this species was assessed by genetically screening 185 Micropterus sp. individuals sampled from 20 localities across South Africa using the mitochondrial ND2 gene. Individuals with mitochondrial DNA matching M. salmoides were recovered from 16 localities, whereas M. floridanus mitochondrial DNA was recovered from 13 localities. At nine localities (45%), the mitochondrial DNA of both species was detected. These results demonstrate M. floridanus dispersal to multiple sites across South Africa.

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