Fecundity of the Stream Leuciscid Luxilus chrysocephalus (Striped Shiner) in the Flint River of Alabama
*Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899.
Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 21, Issue 4 (2022): 281–290
Luxilus chrysocephalus (Striped Shiner) is a stream-dwelling fish common throughout the Ohio, Mississippi, and Tennessee River systems in central and eastern North America. Through its abundance, the species is often an important part of stream fish communities. To better characterize the fecundity and spawning season of Striped Shiners, I made monthly collections of the species throughout most of 2014 and 2015 from the Flint River in north Alabama, a tributary to the Tennessee River. My primary goal was to describe fecundity in this species by assessing ovarian maturation, characterizing the monthly pattern of maturation stages of oocytes, and determining oocyte diameter of different stages in reproductive months. I characterized gonadal condition of mature males and females by calculation of monthly gonadosomatic index (GSI). Mean river discharge for collection days in March through June of 2014 and 2015 was much higher in 2015 than in 2014, likely delaying the 2015 spawning season. Female GSI began to rise in March, with sharply defined peaks in April of each year, and fell sharply in May and June. Clutch oocytes were found in March through May in 2014, but only in April and May of 2015. The largest mean total clutch oocyte count (1438) occurred in April 2014. Striped Shiners in the Flint River appear to have an effective breeding season of 2 months, April and May, shorter than commonly thought.