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Systematics and Life History Aspects of the Percid Fish Etheostoma blennius with Description of a New Subspecies from Sequatchie River, Tennessee

Brooks M. Burr
Copeia
Vol. 1979, No. 2 (May 18, 1979), pp. 191-203
DOI: 10.2307/1443403
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1443403
Page Count: 13
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Systematics and Life History Aspects of the Percid Fish Etheostoma blennius with Description of a New Subspecies from Sequatchie River, Tennessee
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Abstract

Etheostoma blennius, a poorly known darter, is described and distinguished from related forms. A new subspecies, E. b. sequatchiense, is recognizable primarily by differences in meristic and morphometric characters, squamation and pigmentation. E. b. blennius is distributed in tributaries of the lower Tennessee River in Tennessee and Alabama. E. b. sequatchiense has a complementary distribution in the Sequatchie River, Tennessee. Although close to the specific level of divergence the two forms intergrade in Elk River and an adjacent creek in northern Alabama. E. blennius lives a maximum of two to three years, grows to a maximum of 69 mm SL and is sexually mature at one year. Spawning takes place during March and April presumably in fast gravel riffles. Food of 10 specimens was primarily aquatic insects, with chironomid larvae being the predominant item.

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