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A Fisherman’s Tale: An Unusual Observation of the Ozark Cavefish, Troglichthys (= Amblyopsis) rosae (Eigenmann)

Joshua B. Mouser1, Josh Johnston2, Matthew L. Niemiller3, and Shannon K. Brewer4,5,*

1Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078. 2Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Jenks, OK 74037. 3Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899. 4US Geological Survey, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078. 5Current address - US Geological Survey, Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 22, Issue 1 (2023): N28–N33

Troglichthys (= Amblyopsis) rosae (Ozark Cavefish) is currently known from 83 locations within the Ozark Highlands ecoregion. We found a cavefish at a new location in the Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees on the western side of the Neosho River (Delaware County, OK), which is on the northwest periphery of the Ozark Cavefish range. Examination of the mitochondrial ND2 gene supports that the specimen is an Ozark Cavefish, but distinct (4.6–9.2% pairwise distance) from other specimens that have been genetically sampled, and could represent a unique population. Future research should focus on expanding sampling efforts and conducting a range-wide genetic analysis of the Ozark Cavefish.

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