SCIENTIFIC NAME: Campostoma pauciradii
CHARACTERISTICS: Small to moderate in size, the bluefin stoneroller is distinguished from the largescale stoneroller, Campostoma oligolepis, by having fewer gill rakers (usually 12 to 16), blue-green breeding colors in the dorsal and anal fins, and a higher number of breeding tubercles (Burr and Cashner, 1983). The bluefin stoneroller also has fewer lateral line scales (from 42 to 49). In breeding males, the gill covers have numerous small white tubercles, while the head develops large tubercles on the sides. Most of the body scales have at least one tubercle, particularly on the back and upper sides. Breeding males are dark olive on the back, yellowish green to steel-blue on the head and upper sides of the body, brassy yellow on the lower sides, and white or light cream on the venter.
ADULT SIZE: 3.9 to 5.9 in (100 to 150 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: This species is limited to the Apalachicola and Altamaha river systems in Georgia, and in Alabama it is most common above the Fall Line. Burr and Cashner (1983) report sympatry with C. oligolepis in headwater tributaries of the Tallapoosa, Etowah, and Tennessee river drainages in Georgia. In the Chattahoochee River in Alabama, C. pauciradii is found only in tributaries that are immediately above and below the Fall Line – most frequently in Lee, Russell, and Chambers counties.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Like other Campostoma species, the bluefin stoneroller prefers the shoal areas, riffles, and riffle runs of small to moderate streams characterized by clear, flowing water and gravel and sand substrates. We observed spawning in April in a small Coastal Plain stream typical of its preferred habitat. Located in about 8 inches of water, the spawning nest was a circular depression in white sand and fine gravel, with a thin layer of dark silt on top. To feed, this species uses its cartilaginous ridge on the lower jaw to scrape algae and other organisms from rocks and other hard structures.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Burr and Cashner described the bluefin stoneroller in 1983.
Campostoma means curved mouth.
Pauciradii means referring to the low number of gill rakers on the first arch.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.