THE FISH IN ALABAMA FORMERLY KNOWN AS SILVERJAW MINNOW ARE NOW CONSIDERED THE LONGJAW MINNOW.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Ericymba amplamala
Characteristics: The longjaw minnow is easily recognized by its extensive tubular sensory system, which appears on live individuals as silvery or translucent streaks on the underside of the head. The species has a pointed snout, a long head, and a compressed, slender body that is tapered at both ends. A small, horizontal mouth is located on the flattened ventral side of the head. Individuals are not colorful, being silver or straw color above and white below. Mayden (1989) refers this species to Notropis, and Robins et al. (1991) cite it as N. buccatus. Because of substantial morphological differences between this species and other cyprinids, we retain Ericymba as a distinctive genus, as do Boschung (1992) and Etnier and Starnes (1993). See Cope (1865a) for original description.
ADULT SIZE: 1.2 to 2.8 in (30 to 70 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: The longjaw minnow is located in Gulf slope drainages from the Apalachicola River basin west to the Pearl River drainage, generally below the Fall Line. In Alabama this species is both widespread and common throughout the Mobile basin below the Fall Line and in all Gulf Coast drainages. It also occurs well above the Fall Line in the Tallapoosa River system, and a disjunct population is known from the upper Etowah River in Georgia.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: The longjaw minnow is an abundant and widespread in habitant of shallow sand and gravel streams of the Coastal Plain, generally preferring larger, flowing streams. It also seems to tolerate some turbidity and stream degradation. Adults feed over algal layers, from which they extract immature insects, most commonly midge larvae and mayflies. Juveniles consume microcrustaceans. Wallace (1973) reports spawning from April to July in Indiana, with individuals living to be more than three years old. Spawning in Alabama occurs from March through June. Like the other “sand-loving” species, Notropis ammophilus and N. longirostris, the longjaw minnow spawns over sand and gravel bars.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Pera and Armbruster described the longjaw minnow in 2006.
Ericymba means cavity.
The copyrighted information above is modified 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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