SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cyprinella callitaenia
CHARACTERISTICS: The bluestripe shiner is an elongate, slender minnow with a slightly compressed body. The head is small, with an inferior, oblique mouth and a long, blunt snout. Breeding males are steel-blue with iridescent pink flecks above the lateral stripe. The dorsal fin is iridescent green in the center and is edged in blue and then white. The paired fins and caudal fin are edged in white, as is the greenish yellow anal fin.
ADULT SIZE: 2 to 3 in (50 to 75 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: This species is endemic to the Apalachicola River basin, where it occurs in the Chattahoochee and Flint river drainages. In Alabama it is found only in the Chattahoochee River drainage, including Halawakee and Uchee creeks. In a recent survey of the lower Chattahoochee River drainage, Shepard et al. (1995) report that bluestripe shiners are not as common there as they once were. The authors found shiners in Omusee, Abbie, Cheneyhatchee, and Little Barbour creeks. Interestingly, they also found good populations from a few sites in Walter F. George Reservoir, a habitat that was previously considered unfavorable for bluestripe shiners. One of the largest known breeding populations of bluestripe shiners in Alabama occurs in the cooling lake for the Joseph M. Farley nuclear power plant in Houston County.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Cyprinella callitaenia lives in rivers, reservoirs, and large tributaries with slow to moderate currents over sand and gravel substrates. Its diet has not been studied but is presumed to consist of drifting insects or plant matter. Spawning occurs from May to June, primarily over rocky crevices or other hard substrates. Like some other species of Cyprinella, the bluestripe shiner is a fractional crevice spawner—that is, at intervals throughout the extended spawning season, it deposits its eggs in the crevices of submerged logs or fractured rocks. Wallace and Ramsey (1981) report spawning from April to August in Uchee Creek, with peak activity in June.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Bailey and Gibbs described the bluestripe shiner in 1956.
Cyprinella is a diminutive of Cyprinus, the carp.
Callitaenia means beautiful band or ribbon, referring to the blue lateral stripe.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.