NANFA--Natives at Public Aquaria: Memphis Zoo

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Tue, 3 Sep 2002 16:12:46 -0500

Re recent suggestion to post information on native fishes on exhibit at
public aquaria:

Sunday I visited the Aquarium at the Memphis Zoo. It is a smaller, older
facility with traditional rectangular specimen tanks: 2 show tanks in lobby,
approximately 12 small tanks (20-30 gal ?) and 15 large (400-600 gal ?)
tanks in gallery. Three tanks contained native freshwater fishes: one small
with Florida flagfish; one large with bluegill; one "double-wide" with
spotted gar (5), largemouth bass (1), black crappie (2), blue catfish (1),
golden shiner (small school, presumably feeders), and bowfin (only 1). A
fourth tank contained platies and swordtails,but these were cultivated
strains. [Note - A small pool beneath the vampire bats in the Creatures of
the Night exhibit contained blind cave tetras]. What the aquarium lacked in
native fish representation, it made up for in global biodiversity - electric
eel, moray eel, redtail catfish (the largest and most beautiful I have ever
seen), archer fish (some > 15 cm TL), puffers, piranhas, and the monotypic
Chinese sucker (Myxocyprinus asiaticus, which I had never seen before).
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