Re: NANFA-- Speckled chub

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sun, 02 Jan 2000 17:42:03 EST

Dave, I think you're right about Notropis wickliffi, the channel shiner. The
photo in "Fishes of Alabama" is pretty close; but Mettee et al. describe the
adult size as 40 - 75 mm. I would say that mine is easily 80-85 mm. So, a
new shiner for me! These guys really do look like pale, robust sawfin
shiners at first glance. But, they're all in the N. volucellus complex, so
that makes sense. Mettee et al. say they only found wickliffi in the Paint
Rock River, Bear Creek and the main channel of the Tennessee west of
Waterloo in the far NW of the state. So, our collections fill in the dots
some of the fish's range.

This experience has made me realize that for IDing live fish, the "Fishes of
Alabama" book is the best. Page & Burr's book is good too, but some of the
fish illustrations just don't convey all the information that you would hope
for. And also I realize that the biology of many of these fishes is poorly
known; not just their spawning habits (work for an army of graduate
students) but even their size ranges. And "the book" also says that some
species "almost exclusively" inhabit large rivers and streams, species such
as speckled chub and channel shiner. The Scottsboro site looks like a
drainage ditch at first glance; but, it _is_ connected to the Tennessee not
so far away.

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

>One possibility is Notropis wickliffi. I got some on the Elk River a little
>while ago that were huge - probably 75-80mm TL.
>Good luck,
>>The other one from the same riffle as
>>the speckled chub still puzzles me. I think it's also a Sawfin, but it's
>>larger than others I've seen; same form, coloration, position of fins
>>what I can observe) but about 50% larger than Sawfins should be by my
>>understanding. I have to go look deeply at him again today or tomorrow.

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