SCIENTIFIC NAME: Notropis leuciodus
CHARACTERISTICS: The Tennessee shiner is a slender species, somewhat rounded in cross section, with a pointed snout, terminal mouth, and relatively large eyes. A dark lateral band extends from the gill opening to the tail base, narrowing on the peduncle. The caudal spot is rectangular and about the same width as, but separated from, the lateral band. A light stripe is found above the entire length of the lateral band. Pored lateral line scales dip below the lateral band anterior to the dorsal fin and are bounded above and below by small, dark bars. Scales on the back are heavily pigmented, and the venter is white. Breeding males are flushed with red-orange throughout the entire body. The Tennessee shiner is commonly found with the telescope shiner, Notropis telescopus, and the bigeye shiner, N. boops, with which it may be confused. Along with the colorful N. baileyi, N. chrosomus, N. lutipinnis, and N. rubellus, the Tennessee shiner is aligned in the subgenus Hydrophlox of Notropis. See Cope (1868a) for original description.
ADULT SIZE: 2 to 2.6 in (50 to 65 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: Notropis leuciodus occurs extensively throughout the Tennessee River drainage and parts of the Cumberland and Green river drainages. In Alabama the species is known only from the Shoal Creek system in Lauderdale County and the upper Paint Rock River system in Jackson County.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: This species typically prefers cool, clear upland streams with gravel and rubble substrates and often occurs in deeper flowing pools and scoured pools at the base of riffles. Individuals in breeding color have been collected in May and June. A spawning aggregation was observed in Larkin Fork of the Paint Rock River on 18 May 1993. More than a hundred bright orange males swarmed behind a large boulder in the middle of a long, flowing pool some 2 feet deep, with females briefly darting into the swarm to spawn. The aggregation looked like a small, pulsating orange ball which was continually changing shape. Outten (1962) reports N. leuciodus holding territories over a river chub nest, whereas Etnier and Starnes (1993) report spawning over stoneroller nests.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: The Tennessee shiner was described by Cope in 1868.
Notropis means keeled back.
Leuciodus means having a white appearance.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.