SCIENTIFIC NAME: Notropis albizonatus

CHARACTERISTICS: Notropis albizonatus has a slender, spindle-shaped body with a pointed snout and large eyes (typically larger than the snout). The narrow lateral band is dark and extends from the snout to the caudal fin. The anterior lateral line pores look as though they were stitched together by the dark melanophores located above and below each pore. A small, dark, wedge-shaped spot is at the base of the caudal fin, the top and bottom rays of which are lightly outlined with pigment. Two dark spots are obvious along the front and middle of the dorsal fin base. A pale lateral stripe occurs above the dark band-hence the name palezone. The only breeding color is a faint yellow wash at the base of the pectoral fin rays. Warren et al. (1994) postulate that the palezone shiner and the skygazer shiner, N. uranoscopus, along with N. chihuahua, N. ludibundus, and N. procne (the last three not occurring in Alabama), are all of a common ancestral origin. Notropis albizonatus belongs to a group of closely related species that include uranoscopus and chihuahua. See Warren et al. (1994) for original description.

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

DISTRIBUTION: Highly restricted in distribution, the palezone shiner is found only in the Tennessee River drainage in Alabama and Tennessee and disjunctly to the north in the Cumberland River drainage in Kentucky. It is uncommon and localized throughout its range. In Alabama, for example, it occurs only in the upper Paint Rock River system in Jackson County.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: This rare species, when found, usually occurs in moderately large, high-gradient, clear streams flowing over bedrock, cobble, or gravel mixed with clean sand; it prefers pools and pool runs below riffles. It is thought that spawning occurs from early June through July in Alabama, but Etnier and Starnes (1993) report that tuberculate individuals have been collected in May and June in Tennessee. Warren et al. (1994) indicate spawning from mid-May to early July, peaking in June, with individuals living between three and four years. Little else is known about the biology of this species.

REMARKS: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the palezone shiner as an endangered species.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Warren and Burr described the palezone shiner in 1994.

Notropis means keeled back.
Albizonatus means white belt or girdle, referring to the immaculate stripe along the side.

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