SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cyprinella whipplei
CHARACTERISTICS: Is slightly compressed and moderately deep, with a small, subconical head. The snout is red, short, and pointed; the mouth is terminal. In breeding males, the greatly expanded dorsal fin has melanophores stippling throughout all interradial membranes. The back is steel-blue, the sides an iridescent purple. All fins are lemon yellow with a milky white flush. The dorsal fin has a large spot near the back. The steelcolor shiner is easily confused with the spotfin shiner, C. spiloptera.
ADULT SIZE: 1.6 to 5.3 in (40 to 135 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: Cyprinella whipplei ranges from the Ohio River basin south to the upper Black Warrior River system and west to the Missouri River drainages. It also occurs in the Ouachita and Red river drainages of Oklahoma and Arkansas. In Alabama the steelcolor shiner commonly occurs in the Tennessee River drainage and has become established in the Black Warrior River system in both the Mulberry and Locust fork systems. A record is available from the Black Warrior River near Tuscaloosa. Recent sampling efforts (1993) failed to yield the steelcolor shiner in selected parts of the upper Black Warrior system.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: The steelcolor shiner occurs in streams of moderate size and gradient, preferring flowing waters over hard bottoms and typically avoiding headwater streams. It spawns from June to August, depositing eggs in crevices or on the underside of logs and rocks (Pflieger, 1965). Individuals may live to be three years old, and their diet consists of drifting adult and immature aquatic insects, plant material, and terrestrial insects.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Girard described the steelcolor shiner in 1856.
Cyprinella is diminutive of Cyprinus, the carp.
Whipplei is in honor of Lieutenant A. W. Whipple, the officer in charge of the expedition that discovered this species.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.