SCIENTIFIC NAME: Notropis ammophilus

CHARACTERISTICS: The orangefin shiner has a somewhat terete body and a markedly arched dorsal profile, which is more robust anteriorly and tapers toward the caudal fin. The mouth is inferior and almost horizontal. Breeding males have bright orange or reddish orange in all fins, a pinkish orange snout, and bright orange lips. The back is light olive yellow, fading on the sides to a faint lateral band represented by a melanophore above and below each lateral line pore. The venter is silvery white. In Alabama the orangefin shiner most closely resembles the longnose shiner, Notropis longirostris, but the latter species has a more southeasterly distribution.

ADULT SIZE: 1.6 to 2 in (40 to 50 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: Notropis ammophilus is widely distributed in the Mobile basin from the Fall Line south to near the northern edge of the Southern Pine Hills. A single collection from Lost Creek in Walker County represents the only Black Warrior record from above the Fall Line. Disjunct populations occur in the Yellow Creek and Hatchie River systems of the Tennessee River drainage and in the Skuna system of the Yazoo River drainage in Mississippi (Suttkus and Boschung, 1990).

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: This species inhabits small to large streams with clear water and sand or sand-gravel substrates. Large schools numbering in the hundreds or thousands are often seen drifting in shallow water over sand shoals or bedrock. Spawning occurs from April through September. Heins et al. (1980) describe the spawning season as extending from mid-April to late September or early October in Uphapee Creek, with most individuals living about two years. This species’ diet is unstudied, but it likely includes terrestrial insects, aquatic insects (such as midges), and plant material.

REMARKS: The type locality of the orangefin shiner is Chilatchee Creek, Dallas-Wilcox county line, Alabama.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Suttkus and Boschung described the orangefin shiner in 1990.

Notropis means keeled back.
Ammophilus means sand-loving.

The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.