SCIENTIFIC NAME: Notropis ariommus
CHARACTERISTICS: Resembles the telescope shiner, N. telescopus, but the former is distinguished by a paler, more slab-sided appearance and much larger eyes. Its eye diameter—more than one and a half times its snout length—is proportionately larger than that of any other Alabama Notropis. The popeye shiner has a single line of melanophores edging the dorsolateral scales, compared to a double line in N. telescopus. Also, the front of the back and upper sides lack the crooked stripes characteristic of N. telescopus. Popeye shiners do not develop a distinctive breeding color; the body on the sides and venter is olive brown above and silvery below. See Cope (1868a) for original description.
ADULT SIZE: 1.8 to 3 in (45 to 75 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: Notropis ariommus is found in the Tennessee River drainage north to the Wabash River drainage in Indiana and east to the upper Ohio basin. In Alabama it is limited to the Tennessee River drainage and was last collected in 1889 in Cypress Creek near Florence. Although there have been no recent records of this species in Alabama, continued sampling efforts in the Elk River and Shoal Creek systems may rediscover it, since Feeman (1987) reports its occurrence in the Elk River just north of the Alabama state line.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Etnier and Starnes (1993) report a preferred habitat of shallow gravel flats and flowing pools in small rivers and large streams. Trautman (1981) states that this former inhabitant of Ohio waters prefers waters of great clarity. Before its disappearance in Ohio, it was associated with such species as sturgeon, mooneye, redhorses, harelip suckers, chubs, and several darters, all of which required clear waters to survive. Etnier and Starnes (1993) note a diet composed of a variety of aquatic insects, including beetles, midges, caddisflies, and mayflies. They also report a late spring spawning season, from early April through late June, in Tennessee.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Cope described the popeye shiner in 1868.
Notropis means keeled back.
Ariommus means large eye.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.