I took a few other grad students, including a herp dude visiting from Jax
State, and an undergrad from my vertebrate zoology lab out collecting today.
What a great day to be out in the water.
We started at the Sipsey River just west of town- one of the most impressive
non-dammed rivers left in the State. Water levels were super low, and we
managed to get a ton of stuff (probably 25+ spp), including Percina vigil,
Etheostoma histrio, Etheostoma rupestre, Noturus funebris, and Noturus
leptacanthus. Most were released, although I preserved small lots of some
of the cooler stuff, and brought home some "pets". I've been keeping a pair
of P. vigil in a riffle tank for a couple of weeks now, and I've got to say
they're becoming one of my favorite tank fish. They're very animated (kind
of like logperch) and the saddle pattern is really cool. We'll see how the
E. histrio do- I haven't had much luck with them in the past. On that
matter, has anybody out there successfully bred E. histrio in aquaria? Very
little is known about their breeding behavior, mainly because they spawn in
deep fast water around obstructions during the winter- when ichthyologists
are least likely to collect or observe them.
We then sauntered up the road to a small unnamed slough, which connects to
the Sipsey during high water, where we got about 15 sp., most notably
Centrarchus macropterus and Etheostoma proliere. Sorry Jeff, no Notropis
maculatus. I'll keep trying.
An hour or so of herping afterwards resulted in only a single Rana
clamitans- presumably the dry, cool weather is keeping everything hunkered
down. Ah, my favorite time to be in the South...
Hope everyone else managed to get out and play this weekend,
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