The Status Of The Common Shiner, Notropis Cornutus Chrysocephalus (Rafinesque), In Kentucky

Fishes belonging to the Notropis cornutus complex are commonly encountered by hydrobiologists. Consequently, a reasonable taxonomic designation of these forms is important. Several attempts have been made to place these fishes in an acceptable classification. To clarify the status of their classification, specimens sampled from collections totaling more than 3400 fish from 40 counties in Kentucky were analyzed for dorsal stripe configuration, chin pigmentation, and anterior dorsolateral and circumferential scale counts. Distribution and meristics of shiner populations presented in this and other studies suggest that the cornutus-chrysocephalus complex forms a cline extending from the Gulf coast northward to the Great Lakes region. There is a general pattern of increasing scale counts of circumferential and anterior dorsolateral scales from south to north. The variations in pigmentation patterns and scale counts appear to be the result of differing environmental conditions and may be considered as "neutral" phenotypes. Most specimens examined from Kentucky conform to the description of the form chrysocephalus. Alternative views of the complex by other workers are presented.

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