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Greenhead Shiner Variations

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#1 L Link

L Link
  • NANFA Member
  • Atlantic Slope of VA

Posted 10 November 2021 - 10:52 AM

Hi all,

While beginning to toy with some spring snorkeling plans (never too early, right?), I started looking into some potential areas in western NC, hoping to see the Atlantic slope chub mound congregations, including greenhead shiners.


I had known that they (and yellowfins) are variable, but after revisiting them am amazed at the scope of variation just on google images, and was wondering where I could find info on what they look like in each drainage? I would particularly love to try and see some of the cherry-red body/white fins variation. Todd Pusser has an excellent shot of them here: https://toddpusser.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Beneath-Freshwaters/G0000TF72.LILDTE/I000026spvwtcBPQ 


Also, out of curiosity, is anyone working on the genetics within those two species? I'd love to read more about them.




Lock Cabe

Loughran (Lock) Cabe

#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 13 November 2021 - 07:39 PM

Link did not work... but the answer that I know is that Mollie Cashner was working on all the yellowfin shiner variations.


Not aware of as much work going on with greenheads, but yellowfins are just as messed up (colors everywhere and they are not consistent... I mean its not like they vary in any predictable way from yellow to orange to red).


And you know there is also an undescribed "piedmont shiner" that is neither greenhead nor yellowfin?


There is a ton of things to look at/ into with this complex.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#3 Casper

  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 17 November 2021 - 04:58 PM

Lock wrote an article in a recent American Currents about a snorkel trip through the Southern Appalachians.

He just sent me a PDF file of a snorkeling article published in the May / June issue of Virginia Wildlife along with underwater photos he took.

I'm very impressed with this young man's words and projection.

I wish i could link it here but if someone wants the PDF they can email me or Lock for a copy.

This is a young fella that NANFA needs to nurture!

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#4 L Link

L Link
  • NANFA Member
  • Atlantic Slope of VA

Posted 02 December 2021 - 01:48 PM

Thanks Casper, that's high praise, I'm happy to be able to share a little about our aquatic treasures with the rest of my state.


As for the shiners, thanks for the info! I look forward to more light being shed on the genetics. I had heard of piedmonts, I think Scott Smith has an excellent photo of one on the NC fishes website. Zach Alley also posted a composite image of each "hydrophlox" species to Instagram with all three (plus the other three spp.), it made for an interesting visual comparison. Sounding like the whole complex would make for an interesting snorkel tour!

Loughran (Lock) Cabe

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