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Species Ident. Pictures provided.
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determinator
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Joined: 18 Jun 2007

PostPosted: 2009.09.21(Mon)5:44    Post subject: Species Ident. Pictures provided. Reply with quote

I recently caught these local fish and have a couple questions my field guide didn't answer.


This fish looks like a Johnny Darter but it's way too big. You can see it's almost as big as some of the SRBD in the background.



I've been able to identify these as blackspotted topminnows but one of them has a spotted stripe and the other has a solid band. I was wondering if this is a similar species, male/female difference, or simply a color variation. I caught them both in the same stream which is roughly 40 miles south of Chicago which I thought was weird because my field guide says that their range is only up to southern Illinois.


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UncleWillie
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA

PostPosted: 2009.09.21(Mon)13:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your IDs are nearly dead-on. That is a big mature male johnny darter.
Fundulus notatus (blackstripe topminnow) is in that area and are easily confused with the blackspotted topminnow (F. olivaceus).
Larger mature males can get spots like you see on yours, while females tend to have the stripe only. Also, when looking at the blackspotted topminnow, you can see that the spots are not just towards the tail end of the fish, but extend all the way up the back nearly touching the head.
Also, blackspotteds tend to like water that has a bit more flow, whereas the blackstriped likes slack water and vegetation.

Great job!
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determinator
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Joined: 18 Jun 2007

PostPosted: 2009.09.22(Tue)4:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks UncleWillie I appreciate your help.
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UncleWillie
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA

PostPosted: 2009.09.22(Tue)7:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem - you got em, I just clarified a little bit. You know, that topminnow in the middle is exhibiting some blackspotted characteristics. Perhaps it is just a great looking male blackstriped. Blackspotteds shouldn't quite be up that north. Anyways, if you get those guys to spawn, let me know! Also, when are we gonna see some pics of that native setup?! Very Happy
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determinator
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Joined: 18 Jun 2007

PostPosted: 2009.09.24(Thu)6:35    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

I started my first planted tank not too long ago and once I gain some experience the idea is to be able to make a nice native fish/plants tank.
I do have a spawning tank waiting for the topminnows once they get used to aquarium life, it would be my first intentional spawn Smile
I'm going creeking this weekend in St Joseph Michigan and was wondering if you have any suggestion on what species I can look for. I've learned a lot so far but I know there is so much more. Like SRBD are really only easy to catch in the spring in shallow pools, and the topminnows I've only caught under overhanging vegitation. This is the list of species I have caught and kept at one time or another.

SRBD
Blacknose minnow
Silverjaw
Emerald shiner
Topminnow blackspotted
bigeye chub
Creek chub
Orangethroat darter
johnny dater
stickleback minnow
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UncleWillie
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA

PostPosted: 2009.09.24(Thu)13:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sure is hard to beat a tank full of SRBD in a tank - which you already have. I have no real suggestions. Happy hunting.
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