Re: NANFA-- Fw: sheep's head
Tue, 15 May 2001 07:43:51 EDT

In a message dated 5/14/01 11:53:37 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< I'm helping with amphibian research in Ward Marsh which is next to the
Poultney River which feeds into Lake Champlain in the state of Vermont.
Two days ago I was walking along the edge of the marsh after collecting
data on amphibians when I saw a large dark mass near the shore. When I
got closer I saw that it was a large group of fry that where swimming in
a protective mass. There might have been a thousand of them or at least
hundreds. I then notice that there was a large fish that was with
them. Mother? Father? This fish was over 2 feet long and had a blunt
head with short whiskers which she pointed ahead of her. There was a
large false eye on her tail and the pectoral fins where a wonderful neon
powder bluish color. I don't notice much if any dorsal fin. The young
swam around and under her for protection. The mother didn't wish to
swim into deeper water, I would guess since there was more danger of
perdition in that location. Might you know what this fish is? I was
told that a local name for it was Sheep's Head.

David Cunningham

My guess would be a bowfin. Blunt head and two ft. length fit. They don't
have barbels, but do have two nasal extentions that might be seen as barbels.
The ocellus on the tail sounds right. I'm guessing that they didn't notice
that rather than no dorsal fin, the fin ran the length of the dorsum so it
really doesn't stand out. And they do guard their young.

Any other takers?


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