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dusky shiner

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Notropis cummingsae

CHARACTERISTICS: The dusky shiner is a somewhat short and compressed species characterized by a wide black band extending from the tip of the snout to the caudal fin base. The caudal fin base has a distinct spot, with pigment streaking toward the back of the fin. The somewhat oblique mouth is near the tip of the snout. The color of breeding males is dusky yellow-brown on the back, with a light yellow to orange stripe above the lateral band; fin color varies from clear to light yellow. Notropis cummingsae can be confused with the ironcolor shiner, N. chalybaeus, which usually has eight anal rays and a heavily pigmented mouth.

ADULT SIZE: 1.2 to 2.4 in. (30 to 60 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: Notropis cummingsae is found in Atlantic and Gulf slope drainings in North Carolina to the Choctawhatchee River in south Alabama and northwest Florida. Its range in Alabama is limited to the Uchee Creek system, a tributary to the Chattahoochee River, and a tributary to the Chipola River in Houston County. Hubbs and Raney (1951) divide N. cummingsae into two subspecies: N. c. collis, which occurs throughout the remainder of the species' range.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Dusky shiners are found in lowland streams of the Uchee Creek drainage, where low gradients and saturated soils have simulated the extensive growth of forested wetlands. This area is demarcated in the Uchee Creek area, where bedrock upland streams at the Fall Line abruptly change to slow wetland streams over sand, detritus, and mud. This species prefers slower pools and backwaters with flow. Schools of several hundred dusky shiners have been observed in deep, flowing pools with a thick growth of submerged aquatic vegetation. The biology of the dusky shiner is poorly known. Spawning presumably occurs from May through July, and diet is assumed to include insects and plant material.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: The dusky shiner was described by Myers in 1925.

Notropis means keeled back.
Cummingsae means in honor of Mrs. J.H. Cummings of Wilmington, North Carolina, a researcher of local flora and fauna, and George Myers's host during his field investigations.

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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