State Fish and Reptile


Wet specimen of Large Mouth Bass

Wildlife and Fisheries Comparative Collection


Large mouth bass swimming.

(Creative Commons)


(Micropterus salmoides

Designated as State Fish in 1974.

The most popular game fish in North America, largemouth bass are known for being aggressive predators. They are a freshwater species native to the central United States south to the Gulf of Mexico, however they have been widely introduced across the U.S. and even into Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Japan, Countries in Central and South America, Europe, and southern Africa. The MSU Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Department is studying growth patterns and populations of largemouth bass in various parts of its range. 


Preserved alligator head with skin. These are often sold at tourist shops along coastal Mississippi and Louisiana.

Wildlife and Fisheries Comparative Collection


Close up of Alligator teeth as seen on display in the original, physical exhibit in 2017.

Wildlife and Fisheries Comparative Collection


Living American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

(Creative Commons)


(Alligator mississippiensis

Designated as State Reptile in 2005.

Long persecuted as a danger, nuisance, or commodity for its skin, American alligators were listed as federally endangered in 1967. Decades of conservation were necessary to bring this species back to prevalence in most of its native range from Texas to North Carolina. Alligators are now a regulated game species in parts of its range and are even farmed for commercial meat and skin production. The MSU Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Department is studying movement patterns and populations of American alligators in Mississippi. American alligators were introduced to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in 1970 as part of research on controlling American beaver populations. 

State Reptile and Fish