SCIENTIFIC NAME: Macrhybopsis aestivalis
CHARACTERISTICS: This pale, slender species has an inferior, horizontal mouth and round black spots on the back and sides. The snout is long and blunt, projecting well beyond the upper lip. Individuals are pale yellow or silvery year-round. In drainages east of the Mobile basin, members of this species have two barbels in each corner of the mouth; in the Mobile basin and Tennessee River populations, they have only one barbel.
ADULT SIZE: 1.8 to 3 in (45 to 75 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: Macrhybopsis aestivalis is found in Gulf slope drainages from the Apalachicola basin to the Rio Grande basin and north to Minnesota. It seems to be restricted to large, flowing river channels, including the Alabama, Cahaba, Tallapoosa, lower Coosa, and upper Tombigbee rivers (before construction of the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway), generally near or below the Fall Line; the Conecuh, Pea, and Choctawhatchee rivers; and the extreme upper Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. Carter R. Gilbert of the Florida Museum of Natural History will soon publish a report that recognizes three or four distinct species of speckled chubs in Alabama. One species is limited to the Tennessee River drainage. One or perhaps two new species will be described from the Mobile basin. Another new species will be identified as a coastal form restricted to the Conecuh and Choctawhatchee drainages.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Speckled chubs are confined to large, flowing river habitats and are found over gravel and sand bars in moderate to swift currents. Spawning occurs from late April to August, and large spawning aggregations have been observed in the lower Cahaba and Tallapoosa main channels during May and June and in the lower Pearl River in Mississippi during March and April. Etnier and Starnes (1993) also report a protracted spawning season for Tennessee populations—from early May to mid-August. Foods of this species include aquatic insect immatures, particularly midges (Starrett, 1950).
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Girard described the speckled chub in 1856.
Macrhybopsis means long or large bodied minnow.
Aestivalis means of the summer.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.