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Bigeye

BIGEYE CHUB

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hybopsis amblops

Characteristics: The bigeye chub has a single mouth barbel, a weakly falcate dorsal fin, and a dark lateral band. Its body form is slender, and its snout is blunt, with a small, horizontal mouth. The eye is large, with a diameter slightly greater than the length of the snout. The back and sides are light greenish yellow. Similar species are the lined chub, Hybopsis lineapunctata, and the clear chub, H. winchelli, which occur in drainages south of the Tennessee River basin. The mimic shiner, Notropis volucellus, is likely to be confused with the bigeye chub, but the former lacks a mouth barbel. Species of the H. amblops group are geographically distinct, with H. amblops being found only in the Tennessee River drainage, H. winchelli in the Mobile basin and Escatawpa River, H. lineapunctata in the Tallapoosa and Coosa river systems, and the undescribed species in drainages east of the Mobile basin.

 ADULT SIZE: 2 to 3 in (50 to 75 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: The bigeye chub is found in the upper Mississippi River basin from the Tennessee River north to the Great Lakes and west to the Ozarks in Arkansas and Missouri. In Alabama this species is restricted to the Tennessee River drainage, where it commonly occurs in the Paint Rock River, Elk River, and Bear Creek systems.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: The bigeye chub is frequently encountered in small or medium-sized streams of clear water over sandy, gravelly, or rocky bottoms. It is commonly found in pool areas near riffles and in quiet pools with little or no current. Gravid individuals have been observed in May and June. The diet consists of aquatic insects. Etnier and Starnes (1993) report specimens consuming equal numbers of midge larvae and large nymphs of mayflies and stoneflies. Little is known about the life history of this common, frequently occurring species in Alabama.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Rafinesque described the bigeye chub in 1820.

ETYMOLOGY:
Hybopsis means rounded face, referring to the blunt snout.
Amblops means blunt face.

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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