SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cyprinella caerulea

CHARACTERISTICS: The body of Cyprinella caerulea is narrow and elongate, and its head is relatively small and triangular in shape. The mouth is terminal to subterminal and oblique. In breeding males, the dorsal fin is greatly expanded, and the snout protrudes slightly. Females and nonbreeding males are generally plain, with a steel-blue or dark silver body abouve the lateral stripe. Breeding males have a similar appearance, except their entire bodies acquire a more intense metallic blue color. The lateral stripe is bright blue-green, the fins are either bright yellow or orange edged in white, and the dorsal fin membranes are dark. See Jordan (1877a) for original description.

ADULT SIZE: 2 to 2.8 in (50 to 70 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: This species is endemic to the Mobile basin above the Fall Line in the upper Coosa River system. In Alabama it is restricted to the lower reaches of Little River, Weogufka Creek, and Choccolocco Creek (Pierson and Krotzer, 1987). Dobson (1994) recently reported a 3-mile range extension upstream in Little River. The species was formerly known from the Cahaba River system but has not been reported there since 1971.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Blue shiners prefer clear, medium or large streams and are found in shallow pools with slow currents or in backwaters over sand and gravel substrates. They consume terrestrial insects and, to a lesser extent, immature aquatic insects. Spawning in the upper Coosa River system occurs from late April to late July (Krotzer, 1984).

REMARKS: The type locality of the blue shiner is tributaries to the Oostanaula River, near Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the blue shiner as a threatened species.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Jordan described the blue shiner in 1877.

Cyprinella means diminutive of Cyprinus, the carp.
Caerulea means blue.

The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.