SCIENTIFIC NAME: Notropis telescopus
CHARACTERISTICS: The telescope shiner has a somewhat compressed body with large eyes that are longer than the short, pointed snout (though smaller than in the popeye shiner, Notropis ariommus). Viewed from above, the back has a dark predorsal stripe and two or three crooked, parallel stripes resulting from intense scale pigment. The lateral band extends along the entire body, becoming more intense on the peduncle and more diffuse toward the head. Lateral line scales are delicately outlined with melanophores above and below, while the venter is white. As mentioned above, N. telescopus is similar to N. ariommus, which has a larger eye, nine anal rays modally, no stripes on the back, and a weak predorsal stripe. See Gunther (1868) for description.
ADULT SIZE: 2 to 4.1 in (50 to 105 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: Two Notropis telescopus populations are known. One occurs throughout the Tennessee and Cumberland river drainages of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Virginia. The other inhabits the White and Black river systems in Arkansas and Missouri. This species was common in our samples from the Bear Creek, Paint Rock River, and Shoal Creek systems.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: The telescope shiner prefers small to medium-sized upland streams, favoring flowing water near riffles over gravel or rock substrates. Its biology in Alabama is unknown. Etnier and Starnes (1993) report spawning from mid-April through mid-June in Tennessee and a diet of about two-thirds terrestrial insects and one-third aquatic insect larvae (such as mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies).
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: The telescope shiner was described by Cope in 1868.
Notropis means keeled back.
Telescopus means farsighted, referring to this species' large eyes.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.