NANFA-L-- Use of pharyngeal teeth in minnow identification

Dan Johnson (
Sun, 27 Aug 2006 20:36:15 -0500

I'm curious if any of you actually use pharyngeal teeth counts for
minnow identification. The counts seem to be a very good attribute for
distinguishing species. I've tried several times with 2" minnows only
to end up with a pile of mush and not sure I've found anything. Today I
decided to try with some bigger fish. So I went out and caught a two
foot grass carp. I dissected it and was able to find the distinctive
pharyngeal teeth that species possesses. I was able to find four and
five teeth attached on the two sides, but only found one or two teeth of
the 2nd row on one side. And there were 2-3 loose teeth the origin of
which is uncertain. Too much slimy tissue all over the place and lots
of effort to clean things off so things can be seen. I put the arches
in a plastic bag and left outside to let the maggots clean things up a
bit and I'll have another look. Should I keep trying? Thanks in

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