NANFA-- yellowfin shiners

Fritz Rohde (
Thu, 19 Jul 2001 09:55:54 -0400

Yellowfin, greenhead, redlip, saffron, and rough shiners belong to the
Notropis rubricroceus species group of the subgenus Hydrophlox. The
greenhead (chlorocephalus) is endemic to the Santee-Catawba drainage in
North Carolina. Yellowfin (lutipinnis) was considered to be more
wide-ranging from the Pee Dee in South Carolina west to theAltamaha and
upper Chatta hoochee in Georgia. While generally recognized as two
separate species, some ichthyologists considered them subspecies because
of evidence of intergradation in pharyngeal tooth count, and fin
coloration. Yellowfins from the Altamaha, Savannah, and Edisto rivers
had red fins in the breeding male, greenheads had white fins, while
populations of yellowfins from the Santee- Broad and Pee Dee rivers in
SC had yellow fins. Rick Mayden and his student, Rob Wood, examined
specimens electrophoretically (Copeia 1992:68-81). What they found was
that the greenhead shiner was a distinct species while (big surpise) the
yellowfin was composed of 3 diagnosible units (=yellowfin) and 2
undescribed entities (Santee and Pee Dee populations). The AFS report
on "Diversity, distribution, and conservation status of the southern US
fishes" calls this undescribed group "piedmont shiner". While they
often have yellowfins, I have seen them with orange fins also. And if
memory serves me, don't the GA fish have yellowfins when not in breeding
condition? This group deserves more study, upstate SC, which I
have been attempting to do.

Steven - I spent 2 years at Tallulah Falls School, a small boarding
school; I was the Science Department. Luckily for me and the students,
I got back into fish research.

Fritz Rohde
Wilmington, NC

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