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flagfin shiner

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pterronotropis signipinnis

CHARACTERISTICS: The flagfin shiner has a deep, compressed body tapering to a narrow caudal peduncle. The broad, dark lateral band covers much of the sides. In life the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are yellow or red-orange with black marginal rays, and the lateral band is deep blue-black, sharply delineated on the top and diffuses on the bottom. A narrow pink to pinkish red lateral stripe is present above the lateral band. Two bright sulfur yellow spots mark the caudal fin base, and the region between the spots is considerably darker. Pteronotropis signipinnis occurs syntopically with and is easily confused with the sailfin shiner, P. hypselopterus, but the former can be distinguished by its red fin color, yellow tail spots, and smaller tubercles.

ADULT SIZE:  1.6 to 2.2 in (40 to 55 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: Flagfin shiners favor small, flowing blackwater streams draining forested wetland areas. They are often associated with aquatic vegetation and are sometimes found in the vegetation mat proper, but they appear to prefer deep areas of steady flow downstream of debris snags.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Little is known about their life history, but spawning is presumably from May to June and the diet includes aquatic insects and plant material. This species is distributed in gulf slope drainages from the Pearl River drainage east to the Apalachicola basin. Although the flagfin shiner is common from Escatawpa to the Yellow river systems, collections of this species are inexplicably rare in the Alabama section of the Choctawhatchee drainage and are unknown in the Chattahoochee drainage.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: The flagfin shiner was described by Bailey and Suttkus in 1952.

Pteronotropis means winged keeled back, referring to the enlarged dorsal fin of breeding males.
Signipinnis means banner fin, denoting the striking color of the median fins.

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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