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Notropis mekistocholas, a New Herbivorous Cyprinid Fish Endemic to the Cape Fear River Basin, North Carolina

Franklin F. Snelson, Jr.
Copeia
Vol. 1971, No. 3 (Sep. 3, 1971), pp. 449-462
DOI: 10.2307/1442441
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1442441
Page Count: 14
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Notropis mekistocholas, a New Herbivorous Cyprinid Fish Endemic to the Cape Fear River Basin, North Carolina
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Abstract

Notropis mekistocholas is described as a new species. It is unusual within the genus in exhibiting herbivorous adaptations-an elongate, convoluted intestine and black peritoneum. It is compared with N. alborus and N. procne, two sympatric relatives that differ in lacking herbivorous modifications, in having seven rather than eight anal rays, and in numerous other features. N. mekistocholas is the first known endemic species from the Cape Fear drainage in North Carolina. It has a very restricted distribution in the east-central Piedmont province, being known from only four streams in Chatham and Harnett counties. Intestinal modifications suggestive of an herbivorous diet are reported for N. anogenus and some species of the subgenus Luxilus. There is no evidence to suggest that N. mekistocholas should be aligned with the southwestern genus Dionda, which contains herbivorous species superifically similar to Notropis species. Closest relatives of N. mekistocholas appear to be N. procne and N. stramineus.

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