TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida wildlife officials say they’ve discovered a new species of fish in the Southeast.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission scientists say it’s a new species of black bass. They’ve proposed naming it the Choctaw bass.
The wildlife commission says scientists first noticed a new DNA profile while testing a bass specimen from the Chipola River in 2007.
The new species was found in coastal river systems in Alabama and along Florida’s Panhandle. The head of the genetics laboratory at the wildlife commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute says the new fish’s name was chosen because its range overlaps the historic range of the Choctaw Indians.
Scientists say the Choctaw bass is physically very similar to the spotted bass. That’s why no one had distinguished the two different species before.