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In Brief

Bass-ically Amazing: New Bass Species Found in Southeast US

The Choctaw bass
The handsome Choctaw bass, which looks very similar to a spotted bass. (Image credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

After fishing through the DNA of several bass from Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, researchers say they've found a new species. They propose naming the new fish the Choctaw bass, after the Native American tribe that hails from the region, and recommended the scientific name of Micropterus haiaka.

"We didn't set out to find a new species," Mike Tringali, a researcher with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said in a press release from the agency. "It found us."

The Choctaw bass looks like its relative, the spotted bass. The differences between the two are not easy to pick apart with the naked eye, one reason that the "two had never before been distinguished, despite decades of bass studies in the region," according to the release.

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Douglas Main
Douglas Main loves the weird and wonderful world of science, digging into amazing Planet Earth discoveries and wacky animal findings (from marsupials mating themselves to death to zombie worms to tear-drinking butterflies) for Live Science. Follow Doug on Google+.