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Least Brook Lamprey

LEAST BROOK LAMPREY

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lampetra aepyptera

CHARACTERISTICS: The anterior and posterior of the dorsal fin are separated by a distinct notch. On live individuals, the expanded oral disc is narrower than the head. Two widely separated supraorals teeth lie above the oral opening, and three unicuspid or biscuspid teeth lie on either side. Myomeres between the last gill opening and the anus usually number from 54 to 60. Lateral line organs are usually unpigmented. The body is dark to light tan above, blending to light tan to white below. Fins are light tan to cream.

ADULT SIZE: 3.5 to 6.5 in (89 to 165 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: This species, though found in scattered locations around the state, has not been collected in the streams of the Black Belt and Southern Pine Hills. Collections in coastal drainages are limited to three upstream sites in the Conecuh River system.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Members of this nonparasitic species usually inhabit small to medium streams with moderate currents over sand and gravel substrates. Spawning occurs from February in south Alabama to April in north Alabama. On 6 February 1980, we collected a spawning aggregation of 34 individuals over sandy substrates at Thornton Branch, a small tributary of the lower Tombigbee River in southern Sumter County. Several females were filled with eggs, an indication that spawning would occur soon. On 28 March 1991, we collected another spawning aggregation of 34 individuals at Buck Branch, in Colbert County. Because the abdomens of several females were distended with eggs, spawning was either imminent or in progress.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Abbott described the least brook lamprey in 1860.

ETYMOLOGY:
Lampetra means sucker of stones.
Aepyptera means high fin.

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

Note: In Alabama, it is illegal to stock or move any fish, mussel, snail or crayfish to any public water without a permit.

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