NANFA-- Fundulus (Starhead Complex)

John Bongiovanni (
Mon, 5 Apr 2004 12:00:09 -0500

In keeping with the Darter discussion on the "Muscadine Complex", I have been capturing Fundulus blairae in different WMAs around E. Texas and I have the following observations and questions.

F. blairae is quite common in these parts and is often found with F. chrysotus. In some backwater/slough locations it is the dominant species even outnumbering Gambusia affinis. I have reviewed the UT Natural History Museum Collection database and F. blairae is never mentioned. My understanding from discussions with resident biologists of the wildlife management areas is that the fish populations on these sites have been thoroughly catologued over the years. It just doesn't seem possible that F. blairae has escaped detection as common as it is but has been identified as something else. When I reviewed all Fundulus specimens in the Texas collection (some going back to the 30's) it is clear that nomenclature has changed over time. F. notti and F. dispar seem to be the most likely candidates but their citing in the collection is rare and Page and Burr have their ranges well east of us.

Any comments?

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