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Biology of the Blackside Dace Phoxinus cumberlandensis

Lynn B. Starnes and Wayne C. Starnes
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 106, No. 2 (Oct., 1981), pp. 360-371
Published by: University of Notre Dame
DOI: 10.2307/2425173
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425173
Page Count: 12
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Biology of the Blackside Dace Phoxinus cumberlandensis
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Abstract

The biology of the blackside dace Phoxinus cumberlandensis (Cyprinidae) was investigated in the upper Cumberland River drainage in 1977, 1978 and 1981. The dace inhabited small, cool upland tributaries which have near equal riffle-to-pool ratios where it frequented pool areas having extensive cover. It occurred sporadically in the Cumberland Mt. region and was more generally distributed in the Cumberland Plateau area. Sand followed by periphyton and organic detritus constituted the major contents of the digestive tract. Macroinvertebrates generally occurred infrequently but were the entire diet in winter. Diet changed seasonally but did not change with size or age. Pimephales notatus and Campostoma anomalum were the only associated species whose diet appeared to overlap with Phoxinus cumberlandensis. Based on the presence of mature eggs, spawning began in April and extended perhaps as late as July Fecundity averaged 1540 ova/female. Spawning occurs over gravel nests of the stoneroller minnow Campostoma anomalum. Blackside dace appear to have a life span of 3 years with females having greater survivorship; growth is rapid in both sexes the 1st year but slows the following years with females having the slower rate. Phoxinus cumberlandensis is considered a threatened species due to habitat degradation related to surface mining.

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