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Burrhead

BURRHEAD SHINER

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Notropis asperifrons

Characteristics: The body form of the burrhead shiner is elongate and rounded in cross section. The head is somewhat triangular, with a blunt snout and inferior, horizontal mouth. A dark, narrow lateral band extends from the caudal fin and encircles the snout. An immaculate band is located immediately above the lateral stripe, extending from the tail to the gill opening. Although Notropis asperifrons resembles the Coosa shiner, N. xaenocephalus, the former lacks a predorsal stripe, whereas the latter has a well-defined one. Individuals do not develop vivid breeding colors, as do many other species in the family Cyprinidae. Swift (1970) indicates that this species is related to the N. texanus species group. See Suttkus and Raney (1955a) for original description.

 ADULT SIZE: 1.8 to 2.4 in (45 to 60 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: Notropis asperifrons, a species that is endemic to the Mobile basin above the Fall Line, occurs from the upper Black Warrior River system to the Tallapoosa River system. An isolated population of N. asperifrons is found in Wilcox and Monroe counties, in the lower Alabama River drainage in the Lime Hills region.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: The burrhead shiner prefers clear woodland streams of small to moderate size with rubble, bedrock, and sand substrates. The spawning season likely occurs from April to June. Females heavy with eggs and tuberculate males have been collected from the upper Black Warrior system in April and May. Etnier and Starnes (1993) report N. asperifrons spawning in the Conasauga River from April through June. The biology of this handsome species is in need of further study.

REMARKS: The type locality of the burrhead shiner is Holly Creek, a tributary to the Conasauga River, near Ramhurst, Murray County, Georgia.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Suttkus and Raney described the burrhead shiner in 1955.

ETYMOLOGY:
Notropis means keeled back.
Asperifrons means rough forehead, referring to this species’ breeding tubercles.

 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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