Micropterus is a genus of Freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. The species of this genus are known as the black bass.
The black bass are sometimes erroneously called black trout, but the name trout more correctly refers to certain members of the salmon family.
The black bass are distributed throughout a large area east of the Rocky Mountains in North America, from the Hudson Bay basin in Canada to northeastern Mexico. Several species, notably the largemouth and smallmouth basses, have been very widely introduced throughout the world, and are now considered cosmopolitan. Black bass of all species are highly sought-after game fish, and bass fishing is an extremely popular sport throughout the bass's native range. These fish are well known as strong fighters, and their meat is eaten, being quite edible and firm.
All Micropterus species have a dull-green base coloring with dark patterns on the sides. Most reach a maximum overall length of 40–60 cm (16–24 in), but some strains of the largemouth bass have been reported to grow to almost a full meter (just over three feet) in length.
The male builds a "bed" (nest) in which a female is induced to deposit her eggs, then he fertilizes them. The male continues to guard the eggs and fry until they disperse from the nest.
Various species have been introduced into freshwater bodies in Japan, where they have been declared nuisance fish, and subjected to numerous attempts at eradicating them from local ecosystems.
Currently, 13 recognized species are placed in this genus:
A 14th species, the Choctaw bass Micropterus haiaka, has been proposed, but this does not yet appear to have been widely accepted.