Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sinking Creek Fish

Group: Jon, Jessica, Caitlin, Christian, Vicki, Claire

Telescope Shiner
Notropis telescopes
· Dark stitched lateral line
· Big eye
· Large belly

Rosefin Shiner
Lythrurus ardens
· dark triangular spot at dorsal fin origin

Crescent Shiner
Luxilus cerasinus
· Dark crescents
· Tall scales

Longnose Dace
Rhinichthys cartaractae
· Snout extends far in front of mouth
· Deep caudal peduncle

Mottled Sculpin
Cottus bairdi
· Color only a little lighter than bands
· Orange marking on dorsum

Campostoma anomalum
· Large tubercles on head
· Horseshoe shaped mouth

Rosyside Dace
Clinostomus funduloides
· Mismatched scales
· Red markings

Blacknose dace
Rhinichthys atratulus
· Black stripe continues to snout

Fantail darter
Etheostoma flabellare
· Caudal fin “fan” shaped

Craig Creek Fish

Group: Jon, Caitlin, Vicki, Blaine, Jessica

Mountain Redbelly Dace
Phoxinus oreas
Found 10 specimens
· Disaligned midlateral stripe
· Blotches

Mottled Sculpin
Cottus bairdi
Found 4 specimens

Color nearly as dark as bands

Rosyside Dace
Clinostomus funduloides
· ­Mismatched scales
· Horseshoe shaped mouth

Bluehead Chub
Nocomis leptocephalus
· Red eyes

White Sucker
Catastomus commersoni
· Scales smaller anteriorly
· Thick lips

Campostoma anomalum

· Horseshoe shaped mouth

Please identify these two fish for me!

I need to know these for my Ichthyology lab practical!!

Never give a sucker a ....

These two fish look similar; however, the photographers tell me they are different species.
First, to what genus do they belong? Why?

If you had the fish in your hand, what characteristics would you look at?

Would it help if I told you that:
The lips of the top specimen are plicate. The lower lip of the bottom specimen issubplicate.
Lips of the top specimen are larger that lips of lower specimen.
If you dissected out the pharyngeal teeth, you would see molariform teeth on top specimen and comblike teeth on bottom specimen.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Unknown fish to Identify

Post your Fish Collected and Identified on Field Trips HERE

To prepare for the lab practical, each group should post results of field trips. Let's share those identifications here. Click comment below and post your list of species, key diagnostic characteristics you used, and photos. List members of your group so appropriate credit is recorded.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unknown Species Identification

Key Characteristics
-short head, terminal mouth, short barbels around mouth
-small eyes
-broad tail
-dark line on side
-gold-brown coloration
-short pectoral spine

Unknown Species Identification

Key Characteristics
-forked tail fin
-terminal mouth
-rounded snout
-fins=pale olive
-spawning males have orange belly/lower side

Unknown Species Identification

Key Characteristics
-rather "chunky"
-orange paired fins
-orange-brown stripe along the midside
-large lips that protrude before the snout tip

Unknown Species Identification

Key Characteristics:
-large terminal mouth
-eye is high on head
-dorsal fins slightly connected
-distinct blotches along lower body
-found in Potomac and Shenandoah river systems
-if you touched this species it would feel rather ______y.

Unknown Species Identification

Key Characteristics
-deep, compressed body
-dorsal fin origin front half of pelvic fin base
-terminal mouth
-few crescents/scale alterations on side
-dorsal, tail, pelvic, and anal fins have red band with clear outer margin

Monday, April 27, 2009

New darter species described!

Just when you thought you were learning many of the darters, a new one is discovered.

The new species name is Etheostoma akatulo and the species occurs in only four tributaries in Caney Fork River (upper Cumberland River drainage). It is a Federally recognized endangered species.

The scientific paper that describes the new species appeared in Copeia . Click on this link to see color photos of the new species as well as to review the content of a technical article that fully describes a new species to the scientific community.

The common name is the Bluemask darter and the species name, akatulo is from the Cherokee noun meaning mask. The bluemask refers to the intense blue pigment covering the lower face of breeding males.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What species is he holding?

This fish was caught in Virginia.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fishes of Appalachian Streams

Fish A
Fish B
Fish C
Fish D
Fish E

Richard T. Kraus, Ph.D, teaches Ichthyology at George Mason University. His students take field trips to test their fish identification skills.
Here are a few specimens for their sampling.

What species are they?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another minnow to know

This fish was not collected on our Craig Creek field trip. It is a minnow that reaches ~3inches as an adult. I include multiple photos and illustrations here as we learned yesterday that there is wide variation in color among specimens of the same species in the wild.

Concentrate on learning the diagnostic characteristics (some of which cannot be seen from this side view). For this specimen you should be drawn to its tiny scales, long snout with frenum, inferior mouth, fleshy lips and small terminal barbel at corner of mouth. Bring your hand lens for the next field trip.

What species is this?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

These three fishes live in Virginia streams.
What genus do they belong to?

What species are these?

I live in Craig Creek, Who am I?

This is the largest native minnow in Virginia. If you look closely at the mouth with a hand lens, the fish lacks a frenum and has a small barbel that is at the posterior edge of the lips. The scales have dark margins. Lateral line scales are typically 44-47 - fewer and larger than its closest relative. In juveniles there is a midlateral dark stripe - look for that.

What is this species?

Who is the closest relative? How do you tell them apart in the field?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Be ready to encounter any species of fish on our field trip.

If we capture a specimen of sunfish that looks like this one, you should instantly recognize the species.

What is it?

What are the key distinguishing characteristics?

This species has a large mouth and will be captured by anglers. the maximum size is small. but this photo shows a 1 pound, 14 ounce specimen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Fish is This??

Take a look at this photo. You should know the order by sight.
What is the order?

You likely know the genus and species as well.

What is it.

Hidden characteristics: If you look in the mouth you will see teeth are absent on the medial portion of tongue.

extra credit for first correct species identification!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Recognition for Walleye Management in Virginia

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has received a National Award in recognition of their efforts to improve the management of walleye fisheries in Virginia. The press release contains more details.

Research has demonstrated the persistence of a unique strain of walleye in the upper New River. The Department has continued a hatchery-based restoration of the native stock. Candidate spawners were collected from spawning areas, and DNA from fin clips was assessed genetically. Walleye exhibiting genetic variants that characterize the presumptive native stock were spawned and young were reared at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries hatcheries.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Decline in Florida's Reef Fishes

Trophy fish caught on Key West charter boats (1958). Photo courtesy of Monroe County Library.

Since the 1950's, the estimated weight of sport fish caught in Florida Keys declined 88% according to a paper by Loren McClenachan to be published in Conservation Biology.

Photos from the 1950 were used to estimate sizes of trophy fish.

Click here for more of the story..