SCIENTIFIC NAME: Percina kathae
CHARACTERISTICS: The Mobile logperch has a conical snout that projects well beyond the upper jaw, a wide frenum, obvious tigerlike vertical banding along the sides with the longer bands expanded into a diffuse blotch, and a single spot at the base of the caudal fin. A single, wide reddish orange submarginal band in the spiny dorsal fin, bordered by a thin black band on the margin and a broad black band at the base, distinguishes this species and the Gulf logperch from the similar Percina caprodes found in the Tennessee River drainage and P. jenkinsi in the upper Coosa River system, both of which lack colored bands. The back has 16 to 22 full- and half-length bands, some which are dark and wide, resembling saddles, that continue down the sides. The body is yellowish brown to yellow-green along the back and sides, changing to light green to white along the venter. The soft dorsal and caudal fins are banded with black.
ADULT SIZE: 3.1 to 6.3 in (80 to 160 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: The Mobile logperch is endemic to all river systems of the Mobile basin in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. It is particularly widespread in the upper Cahaba and Coosa river systems. Populations of the Mobile logperch and “Gulf logperch” occur together at certain locations in the Alabama, Black Warrior, and upper and lower Tombigbee river systems.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: We have collected individuals of the Mobile logperch in a variety of habitats, from small tributaries to large rivers and impoundments. Greatest densities occur over gravel or sand substrates in moderate current or in lakes over sand and mud substrates. Large numbers of reservoir-based individuals frequently migrate upstream into small flowing streams from late February into May to spawn, an event we observed in Carrolls Creek, a tributary of Lake Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County. Females are thought to bury eggs in riffles or shoals of sand or gravel. Mobile logperch may live three to four years. Young individuals consume small crustaceans, while adults feed on midge larvae, mayflies, and caddisflies. This and other logperch species flip small stones scattered along the bottom in search of food.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Thompson described the Mobile logperch in 1997.
(Thompson, B.C. 1997. Percina kathae, a new logperch endemic to the Mobile Basin in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee (Percidae, Etheostomatini). Occ. Pap. Mus. Nat. Sci. La. State Univ. 73:1–34.)
Percina is a diminutive of Perca, meaning perch.
Kathae for Kathy S. Thompson, wife of author, Bruce A. Thompson
Much of the copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. The fish was officially described after this book was published.