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The Cave, Spring, and Swamp Fishes of the Family Amblyopsidae of Central and Eastern United States

Loren P. Woods and Robert F. Inger
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 58, No. 1 (Jul., 1957), pp. 232-256
Published by: University of Notre Dame
DOI: 10.2307/2422371
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2422371
Page Count: 25
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The Cave, Spring, and Swamp Fishes of the Family Amblyopsidae of Central and Eastern United States
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Abstract

The five recognized species of amblyopsids are grouped into three genera on the basis of the pectoral girdle, scleral cartilages, and presence of eyes in adults. The epipleurals of amblyopsids are attached to the ribs lateral to the rib attachments, an arrangement held in common with the cyprinodonts and distinguishing both from the Haplomi. Differences between these two groups are sufficient to recognize each as a distinct suborder of the Microcyprini. The strong development of sensory papillae, the imbedding of the scales, the jugular vent, and the fusion of the gill membranes to the isthmus represent specializations of the amblyopsids from the basal microcyprinoid stock. The amblyopsids, except for one species, are distributed in the limestone region of the central United States between the Appalachian Mountains and the Great Plains, south of the limit of glaciation and north of the Cretaceous Mississippi embayment. Chologaster cornutus is found in the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Virginia to central Georgia. The cavernicolous Amblyopsis and Typhlichthys apparently disperse through subterranean channels below the water table. Chologaster, at least the species cornutus, is probably able to migrate through sluggish surface streams.

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