Fish Files 8

Fish Files in your Backyard

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)

Where do I Live?

I am naturally found in North America, from the St. Laurence-Great Lakes down to Florida and Northern Mexico. I am found in quiet, clear, freshwater and prefer banks with lots of vegetation. Vegetated lakes, ponds and swamps are where I will be found the most.

What do I look like?

As my name says, I have a large mouth that extends past my eyes. The top half or of my body is green or olive, and my bottom half is milk-white or yellow. I have a black bar that runs horizontally the length of my body, from my eyes to base of my tail. I can grow over 2 feet in length.

What do I eat?

As a young fish I hunt for crustaceans, insects and small fish to eat. As I grow up to be a large adult bass, I hunt for larger fish, crayfish and frogs.

What is unique about me?

I am a very popular recreational fish that can be found almost anywhere in North America. People have introduced me to new areas because I am one of the most exciting fish to catch.

How common am I?

I am a very common fish and very popular so be careful how many of me you catch!

Barrel Fish (Macropinna microstoma)

Where do I live?

I live in tropical to temperate waters throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, at depths of 600 – 800 m (2000 – 2600 ft.).

What do I look like?

I have a stout, deep body covered with large scales and a tiny mouth. My eyes are actually inside my head and they point straight upwards (in green), while my nostrils are high above my mouth where most people mistake them for my eyes.

What do I eat?

Not much is known about what I eat at this point, but scientists think I likely eat zooplankton. Scientists suspect my eyes to be inside my head to protect them so I can eat or steal food from stinging jellyfish.

What is unique about me?

I’m also known as the barreleye or spookfish. The strangest thing about me is my eyes; they’re embedded inside my soft, transparent, fluid-filled head. My eyes are fairly complex for a fish; they contain a lens, retina and rod cells, but no cone cells, so I can detect light but not color. They point straight upwards and I can pivot and point them in other directions like a pair of binoculars.

How Common am I?

Again, scientists aren’t really sure, but since we are hidden in the deep ocean, we’re hard to reach and probably not in any danger for now.