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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Campostoma oligolepis

CHARACTERISTICS: Each of the species of the genus Campostoma has a cartilaginous ridge on the lower jaw and a greatly elongate intestine, which is usually more than twice the standard length. The largescale stoneroller is distinguished from the bluefin stoneroller, C. pauciradii, by having more gill rakers (usually 20 to 28) and more lateral line scales (usually 48 to 53) (Burr and Cashner, 1983). It also has fewer breeding tubercles on the head (10 to 22) than the bluefin stoneroller (23 to 27). The breeding male is brassy yellow along the back and upper sides, grading to white or light yellow along the venter. The dorsal, anal, pelvic, and pectoral fins are orange to pinkish orange, and the dorsal fin has a distinct black band.

ADULT SIZE: 3 to 6.9 in (75 to 175 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: Campostoma oligolepis is common in the Mississippi River basin. It also occurs in the Mobile basin and the Tennessee River drainage. Our collections at two locations in the Conecuh River drainage in south Alabama provide additional evidence of historical faunal exchange between it and the Alabama River system.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Widespread and often abundant, stonerollers prefer upland habitats above the Fall Line. Ideal habitats are small to medium-sized clear streams with substrates of gravel, cobble, boulders, or bedrock in riffles or moderately deep riffle runs. Juveniles frequently favor slower currents over sand and silt. Stonerollers are herbivorous, feeding on algae that they scrape off rocks with a cartilaginous ridge on their lower jaws. The elongate intestines characteristic of Campostoma help them to digest this plant material. Stonerollers spawn from early March through April. Males excavate spawning pits in shallow water by moving stones with their mouths or pushing them with their heads. Located near riffles with adjacent deep pools, the pits may be up to 12 inches deep. Stonerollers are considered “pollution tolerant” because they persist in streams that contaminants have made unsuitable for other species.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: The largescale stoneroller was described by Hubbs and Greene in 1935.

Campostoma means curved mouth.
Oligolepis means few scales.

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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