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2010 SOUTHEASTERN NATURALIST 9(4):673–686
Habitat Associations, Life History, and Diet of the
Blackspot Shiner, Notropis atrocaudalis
Preston T. Bean1,*, Casey S. Williams2, Peter H. Diaz1, and Timothy H. Bonner1
Abstract - The ecology of Notropis atrocaudalis (Blackspot Shiner) including
habitat associations, population age structure, reproduction, and food habits were
examined in two east Texas streams from November 2001 through October 2002.
Blackspot Shiner were generally found in relatively shallow, slow-flowing runs, but
exhibited no strong seasonal habitat associations. The population consisted of four
age groups (ages 0, 1, 2, and 3) present within a year, and estimated maximum life
span was 3 years. Reproductively mature individuals were observed from March
through August and temporal patterns in ovarian development, gonadosomatic index,
and ova development indicated that Blackspot Shiner spawns multiple clutches of
eggs over an extended spawning period. Blackspot Shiner diets consisted primarily
of aquatic insects including Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, and Coleoptera larvae.
The natural distribution of Notropis atrocaudalis (Evermann) (Blackspot
Shiner) is from the Brazos River drainage in Texas to the lower Red River
drainage in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana (Gilbert 1978). Information
on the ecology of Blackspot Shiner is limited to anecdotal notes, which suggest
that it inhabits small streams with sand and rubble substrates (Moore
and Cross 1950), vegetation (Pigg 1977), and clear-flowing waters (Douglas
1974). Longitudinally, Blackspot Shiner is abundant in headwater streams,
and abundance greatly decreases in downstream portions of streams and rivers
(Evans and Noble 1979). Little additional information concerning the ecology
and life history of Blackspot Shiner is available; however, the population status
of Blackspot Shiner is considered to be stable by Warren et al. (2000).
The objective of this study was to provide further information on ecological
and life-history attributes and population age structure of Blackspot
Shiner in Bonita Creek and LaNana Bayou, Nacogdoches County, TX.
Specifically, we examined habitat associations, gonadal maturation, sex ratio,
number of age groups present, and food habits of the Blackspot Shiner
population in this stream system.
We collected fish and measured habitat characteristics monthly at three
sites on Bonita Creek and one site on LaNana Bayou from November 2001
1Texas State University-San Marcos, Department of Biology/Aquatic Station, 601
University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666. 2Utah State University, Utah Water Research
Lab, 1600 Canyon Road, Logan, UT 84321. *Corresponding author - preston.
674 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No. 4
through October 2002. Bonita Creek is a first-order stream at Site 1 and a
second-order stream at sites 2 and 3. LaNana Bayou is a third-order stream at
Site 4. Detailed stream and site descriptions are provided by Williams and Bonner
(2006). Blackspot Shiners were collected from available geomorphic units
(i.e., runs, riffles, pools, backwaters, and chutes) by a combination of backpack
electrofishing (Smith-Root Model 12-B POW) and seining (1.2 by 1.8 m, mesh
size = 3.2 mm; 1.8 by 2.4 m, mesh size = 3.2 mm). For each geomorphic unit,
we placed block nets (mesh size = 4 mm) at the upper and lower boundaries,
electrofished areas surrounding undercut banks and woody debris, and seined
all remaining areas until only a few fish (less than 10) and no new species were collected.
We identified all fishes to species and measured total length (nearest 1 mm)
of the first 30 individuals of each species. From each site, we randomly selected
ten Blackspot Shiners, exposed them to a lethal dose of MS-222, and preserved
them in 10% formalin for reproductive and diet analyses.
We measured length, width, mean current velocity (measured at 60%
of depth), mean and maximum depth, percent woody cover, vegetation,
detritus, and substrate type for each geomorphic unit. We calculated mean
current velocity (measured with a Marsh-McBirney Flowmate Model, 2000)
and depth from measurements taken at 0.5-m increments across one representative
transect per geomorphic unit. We visually estimated substrate type
using a modified Wentworth scale (silt: less than 0.0625 mm, sand: 0.0625–1.99
mm, gravel: 2–63 mm, cobble: 64–255 mm, boulder: ≥256 mm, and bedrock),
and woody cover, vegetation (algae and macrophytes), and detritus
as the percentage of area occupied within each geomorphic unit (Taylor and
Lienesch 1996, Taylor and Warren 2001).
In the laboratory, we weighed each preserved Blackspot Shiner and
removed, weighed, and examined the gonads. With the aid of a dissecting
microscope, we determined the sex of each individual and the stage of ovarian
development (i.e., immature or resting, developing, mature, spent; Phillip
1993, Williams and Bonner 2006) for each female. We calculated a gonadosomatic
index (GSI; [gonad weight/fish weight]*100) for each fish and pooled
GSIs across sites each month for each sex to calculate a mean monthly GSI.
We measured oocyte diameters from two to five randomly selected mature
females per month from February through September 2002. For these individuals,
we separated the oocytes of the left ovary by gently teasing them
apart and redistributing the oocytes in a water-filled Petri dish. Diameters of
100 oocytes from each female were measured to the nearest 0.01 mm across
their longest and shortest axes, and the two measurements were averaged to
determine the diameter of each oocyte. Size-frequency histograms were constructed
from oocyte diameters for each female examined.
For food-item analysis, we removed the digestive tract from the esophagus
to the first loop of the intestine from three individuals per month. Gut
contents were sorted into general taxonomic groups [i.e., aquatic insects,
aquatic non-insects, terrestrial arthropods, fish eggs, unidentifiable insects
(insect parts or highly masticated individuals)], plant material, detritus, and
2010 P.T. Bean, C.S. Williams, P.H. Diaz, and T.H. Bonner 675
substrate. Aquatic insects were further identified and sorted to the lowest
practical taxon, typically to order. The wet weight of each taxonomic group
and detritus was recorded to the nearest 0.1 mg, with a weight of 0.1 mg assigned
when the weight of the taxonomic group was less than 0.1 mg. Percent weight
of invertebrate, fish egg, and detritus categories were averaged across fish
by month to evaluate temporal changes in diet. Plant material and substrate
were recorded as presence or absence among fish by month.
Blackspot Shiner lengths were pooled across all sites for each month and
length-frequency histograms were constructed using 2-mm bin increments.
Modal progression analysis was implemented in Fish Stock Assessment Tools
II (FiSAT II) to determine the number of age groups present. Age groups were
labeled according to their age on 1 January 2002, with fish spawned during
the study period referred to as age 0. Catch per unit effort (CPUE; number of
Blackspot Shiner collected/area sampled [m2]) was calculated for each site
and month to determine temporal patterns in longitudinal distribution.
Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to assess temporal variation
in habitat. Qualitative habitat data (i.e., geomorphic units) were scored as
dummy variables, whereas quantitative habitat data (i.e., physical parameters)
were z-score transformed (Krebs 1999). A scree plot was used to determine
the appropriate number of axes to be retained for further analyses. PCA axis
scores were grouped into four time intervals to reflect seasonality in this system:
November through January (winter), February through April (spring),
May through July (summer), and August through October (fall). Seasonal
habitat associations of Blackspot Shiner were examined using Pearson product-
moment correlations (Zar 1999) of occurrence, abundance, and density
with sample scores from PCA axes I–III. A Bonferroni procedure (α = 0.05/c,
where c equals number of seasons) was used to adjust the significance level to
accommodate multiple comparisons (Quinn and Keough 2002).
Concordance between male and female monthly mean GSIs was assessed
using Pearson product-moment correlation (α = 0.05). Chi-square goodnessof-
fit tests were used to test for departure from a 1:1 sex ratio (α = 0.05) and
to compare expected and observed Blackspot Shiner abundance among geomorphic
unit types (α = 0.05/4). Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) tests were used
for ordinal data to test differences between expected and observed Blackspot
Shiner abundance among current velocity (0.05-m/s intervals) and depth
(0.05-m intervals) gradients (α = 0.05/4). Expected values for goodness-offit and KS tests were defined as the number of Blackspot Shiner expected in
each geomorphic unit, current velocity interval, or depth interval if density
of Blackspot Shiner was uniform among habitats. Expected values were
determined by pooling abundance and habitat data across sites and months
within each season, calculating the areal (m2) proportion for each geomorphic
unit type, current velocity, or depth interval, and multiplying by the
total number of Blackspot Shiners collected. Independent two-sample t-tests
were used to test for differences in Blackspot Shiner mean lengths between
upstream and downstream sites.
676 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No. 4
Bonita Creek and La Nana Bayou were characterized by habitats consisting
primarily of runs (78%) and riffles (18%) (Table 1). Mean stream width (± SE)
ranged from 3.0 (± 0.24) to 6.8 (± 0.85) m, and mean depth ranged from 0.19
(± 0.02) to 0.29 (± 0.04) m among sites. Dominant substrate types were bedrock
(31%), gravel (28%), and sand (18%). However, while bedrock was the most
abundant substrate, it was absent from Site 4 at LaNana Bayou, where gravel
was the dominant substrate. Woody debris was relatively common at all sites,
whereas in-stream vegetation was present only at Site 3. Detritus was abundant
at Site 1 in November and December 2001, but was removed by high flows in
December 2001. Detritus remained low at all sites from January through September
2002, but became more abundant at sites 1 and 2 in October 2002.
Principal components I–III accounted for 45% of the variation in habitat
data (Table 2). The first principal component (19.2% of total variation) represented
a gradient in habitats from riffles with high current velocities and greater
amounts of bedrock substrate having strong negative sample scores to wide
runs with low current velocities and silt substrate having strong positive sample
scores (Fig. 1). The second principal component (13.3%) represented a gradient
from deep habitats with greater amounts of bedrock substrate having strong
negative sample scores to habitats with greater amounts of gravel and cobble
substrates having strong positive sample scores. The third principal component
(12.7%) represented a gradient from wide habitats with high current velocities
and gravel substrate having strong negative sample scores to backwater habitats
with abundant detritus having strong positive sample scores.
Table 1. Stream order, percent habitat, and substrate and mean (± SE) monthly habitat parameters
for three sites on Bonita Creek (sites 1–3) and one site on LaNana Bayou (Site 4), TX,
sampled from November 2001–October 2002.
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
Stream Order 1 2 2 3
Run 69.6 75.0 90.3 84.5
Riffle 25.8 25.0 9.0 10.5
Pool 4.6 - - 2.5
Backwater - - - 2.5
Chute - - 0.7 -
Silt 13.0 7.1 19.1 16.0
Sand 1.5 6.2 33.6 21.5
Gravel 17.6 30.8 4.8 51.8
Cobble 3.7 29.5 3.2 10.7
Bedrock 64.2 26.3 39.3 -
Detritus (%) 8.0 (± 4.6) 1.8 (± 1.3) 0.7 (± 0.5) 0.7 (± 0.3)
Woody debris (%) 5.3 (± 2.3) 6.4 (± 1.9) 4.1 (± 1.5) 7.8 (± 2.2)
Vegetation (%) - - 0.8 (± 0.82) -
Length (m) 171.5 (± 12.26) 92.2 (± 3.7) 112.5 (± 6.4) 116.8 (± 12.1)
Width (m) 3.0 (± 0.24) 3.4 (± 0.37) 5.6 (± 0.39) 6.8 (± 0.85)
Depth (m) 0.19 (± 0.02) 0.19 (± 0.01) 0.29 (± 0.04) 0.28 (± 0.03)
Current velocity (m/s) 0.13 (± 0.04) 0.19 (± 0.06) 0.22 (± 0.08) 0.30 (± 0.06)
2010 P.T. Bean, C.S. Williams, P.H. Diaz, and T.H. Bonner 677
A total of 2787 Blackspot Shiners were collected from November 2001
through October 2002 from 108 (72%) of 149 geomorphic units sampled. Occurrence
of Blackspot Shiner was positively correlated (r = 0.38, P = 0.009;
Table 3) with principal component I (i.e., habitats with greater depths, greater
Table 2. Loadings and percent variance (%) explained by qualitative and quantitative habitat
parameters on principle components axes (PCA) I–III for three sites on Bonita Creek (Sites 1–3)
and one site on LaNana Bayou (Site 4), TX, from November 2001–October 2002.
I II III
Percent variance explained: 19.2 13.3 12.7
Backwater 0.227 0.062 0.331
Pool 0.207 -0.071 -0.028
Run 0.513 -0.089 -0.025
Riffle -0.594 0.189 -0.088
Chute -0.290 -0.240 -0.003
Current velocity (cm/s) -0.382 -0.018 -0.547
Depth (cm) 0.737 -0.122 -0.123
Maximum depth 0.782 -0.351 -0.223
Stream width 0.512 -0.021 -0.458
Silt substrate (%) 0.404 0.217 0.589
Sand substrate (%) 0.395 -0.125 -0.035
Gravel substrate (%) 0.136 0.680 -0.310
Cobble substrate (%) -0.223 0.445 -0.293
Bedrock substrate (%) -0.438 -0.822 0.098
Woody debris (%) 0.289 0.085 0.039
Vegetation (%) 0.165 -0.225 0.013
Detritus (%) 0.090 0.260 0.687
Table 3. Seasonal correlations of Blackspot Shiner occurrence, abundance, and density (CPUE),
with principle component axes I–III for three sites on Bonita Creek and one site on LaNana
Bayou, TX, sampled from November 2001–October 2002. Asterisk denotes significant correlation
with a Bonferroni adjusted α = 0.0125 for seasonal comparisons.
PC axis I PC axis II PC axis III
r P r P r P
Winter -0.05 0.77 -0.19 0.30 0.02 0.92
Spring -0.41 0.03 0.01 0.95 0.06 0.75
Summer -0.02 0.90 0.02 0.91 -0.12 0.45
Fall 0.38 0.009* 0.15 0.32 0.02 0.90
Winter -0.24 0.18 -0.25 0.17 0.02 0.93
Spring -0.15 0.44 -0.10 0.60 0.31 0.10
Summer 0.11 0.49 0.05 0.75 0.12 0.44
Fall 0.03 0.82 -0.18 0.22 0.23 0.13
Winter -0.14 0.47 -0.21 0.26 0.13 0.48
Spring -0.13 0.49 -0.01 0.97 0.23 0.22
Summer -0.26 0.10 -0.24 0.12 0.07 0.63
Fall 0.07 0.64 0.08 0.59 0.41 0.005*
678 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No. 4
widths, and runs) from the PCA of habitat data in the fall. Blackspot Shiner
density was positively correlated (r = 0.41, P = 0.005) with principal component
III (i.e., habitats with greater amounts of detritus, silt, and backwaters).
Figure 1. Plots of all geomorphic units on principal component axes I, II, and III.
Subsequent plots illustrate Blackspot Shiner occurrence (circle) and abundance
(circle size: small = less than 25 individuals; medium = 25–75; and large = greater
than 75) by season.
2010 P.T. Bean, C.S. Williams, P.H. Diaz, and T.H. Bonner 679
Run and pool habitats contained a greater number of Blackspot Shiners than
expected, whereas riffles, backwaters, and chutes contained fewer individuals
than expected (χ2 = 28.1, P < 0.001). Among current-velocity intervals, Blackspot
Shiner were more abundant (87%) in slower current velocities (0–0.3 m/s;
68% of total area) and less abundant (13%) in swifter currents (0.35–0.95 m/s;
32% of total area) (Fig. 2a). Among depth intervals, Blackspot Shiner were
Figure 2. Percent occurrence of Blackspot Shiners along current velocity (a) and
depth (b) intervals collected from three sites on Bonita Creek and one site on LaNana
Bayou, Nacogdoches, TX, from November 2001–October 2002. Gray bars represent
observed values and the line represents expected values.
680 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No. 4
more abundant (91%) in shallower depths (≤0.30 m; 68% of total area) and less
abundant (9%) at depths ranging from 0.35 to 1.2 m (32% of total area).
Four age groups (ages 0, 1, 2, and 3) were present in the population within
the year (Fig. 3). Age-3 fish reached a maximum total length of 88 mm and
were collected from February through April 2002 (1%). Age-2 fish were collected
throughout the year and were the most abundant age group within the
population from November 2001 through May 2002. Age-1 fish were also collected
throughout the year and were the most abundant adult age group from
July 2002 through October 2002. Age-0 fish were first collected in April 2002,
were the most abundant age group from June 2002 through August 2002 and
reached a maximum length of 56 mm TL by September 2002. Catch per unit
effort of Blackspot Shiners ranged from 0–1.2 individuals/m2 among sites.
Catch per unit effort was typically >0.1 individuals/m2 at upstream sites (i.e.,
sites 1 and 2) and consisted primarily of adult Blackspot Shiners. Catch per
unit effort was typically less than 0.04 individuals/m2 at downstream sites (i.e., sites
3 and 4), except from June–July at Site 3 and June–September at Site 4, when
juvenile Blackspot Shiners were abundant (0.25–1.16 individuals/m2) at these
sites. Mean lengths of Blackspot Shiners did not differ between upstream and
downstream sites in May (t = 1.709, P = 0.093), whereas mean lengths differed
between upstream (mean length = 56 mm) and downstream (mean length = 36
mm) sites in June (t = 6.960, P < 0.001).
Figure 3. Monthly mean total length (± SD) for age-0, age-1, age-2, and age-3
Blackspot Shiners collected from three sites on Bonita Creek and one site on LaNana
Bayou, Nacogdoches, TX, from November 2001–October 2002. Monthly collections
were pooled across all sites.
2010 P.T. Bean, C.S. Williams, P.H. Diaz, and T.H. Bonner 681
Gonadal development and GSI
All ovaries from female Blackspot Shiner collected from September
through November (n = 13; TL = 38–76 mm) were classified as either immature
or resting. Developing ovaries were first observed in December and
occurred in all females (n = 6; TL = 62–75 mm). Ovaries with vitellogenic
oocytes were first observed in March and occurred in 63% of females (n =
8; TL = 59–68 mm) and were present in all females from April through June
(n = 24; TL = 49–81 mm). In July, ovaries of all females (n = 2; TL = 47–48
mm) possessed only previtellogenic oocytes.
Mean monthly GSI (Fig. 4) for females corresponded with temporal patterns
in ovarian developmental stages and was positively correlated with
male mean monthly GSI values (r = 0.73, P less than 0.01). Female GSI was less than 3%
during gonadal quiescence, elevated (>5%) from March through May, and
decreased to less than 3% in July and August. Mean monthly male GSI was less than 0.75%
from October through December, elevated (>0.75%) in February and March,
and decreased to below 0.75% from April through September. Sex ratio did
not differ from 1:1 (χ2 = 0.3, P = 0.58).
Female Blackspot Shiner produced multiple cohorts of oocytes throughout
the spawning period. Trimodal distributions of oocyte diameters
indicated three oocyte size classes from March through June 2002 (Fig. 5).
Oocyte size groups consisted of one cohort of small previtellogenic oocytes
and two cohorts of vitellogenic oocytes.
Thirty-six Blackspot Shiners were examined for diet analysis. Gut contents,
by weight, consisted of aquatic insects (84%; unweighted average
across months), detritus (8%), terrestrial arthropods (6%), aquatic noninsect
arthropods (2%), fish eggs (less than 0.1%), and unidentifiable insect parts
(less than 0.1%). Mean monthly weight of digestive tract contents ranged from 1.2
mg (September 2002) to 30.7 mg (August 2002) (Table 4). Frequency of occurrence
of individuals with no food items present was 21%; however, these
individuals still possessed vegetation or substrate in their gut.
Aquatic insects were the most common food item, ranging in percent
weight from 29% (October 2002) to 100% (February, July, and September
2002). Diptera was the most abundant aquatic insect consumed (48% by
weight of aquatic insects) followed by Ephemeroptera (26%), Trichoptera
(21%), Coleoptera (5%), and Odonata (<0.1%). Terrestrial arthropods comprised
6% of gut content weight on average and up to 54%. Adult Diplopoda
(85% of terrestrial arthropods) was the most abundant terrestrial arthropod
consumed, followed by Arachnida (14%) and Hymenoptera (1%). Aquatic
non-insect arthropods were rare (<2%) and consisted of Annelida (76%),
Crustacea (14%), and Hydracarina (10%). Fish-egg consumption was rare
and occurred only in June 2002. Percent weight of detritus ranged from 0 to
39%, occurrence of substrate in gut contents was 73% among individuals,
and occurrence of plant material was 76% among individuals.
682 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No. 4
Blackspot Shiner showed only occasional associations along multivariate
habitat gradients and is a habitat generalist occurring in 72% of geomorphic
units sampled. Although associations along these multivariate gradients
were weak, Blackspot Shiner did show habitat associations in univariate
analyses. Abundance of Blackspot Shiner was typically higher in habitats
Figure 4. Mean (± SE) monthly gonadosomatic index (GSI) for female and male
Blackspot Shiners from Bonita creek and LaNana Bayou, Nacogdoches, TX, collected
from November 2001–October 2002.
2010 P.T. Bean, C.S. Williams, P.H. Diaz, and T.H. Bonner 683
with relatively shallow depths and slow current velocities as well as in runs
and pools. Although anecdotal notes suggest that Blackspot Shiners are associated
with vegetation (Pigg 1977), abundance of adult Blackspot Shiners
was greatest at sites 1 and 2 where no vegetation was present and was lower
at Site 3 where vegetation occurred.
Temporal patterns in ovarian development, GSI, and oocyte-diameter frequency
distributions suggest that Blackspot Shiner spawns over a protracted
period primarily from March through June, with some individuals possessing
mature ova as late as August. The presence of three distinct oocyte size
classes in individual mature females suggests the production of multiple egg
cohorts by individual females (Heins and Rabito 1986). Blackspot Shiner
is a relatively fast-growing species, with some individuals reaching a total
Figure 5. Monthly size-frequency distribution for ova diameters from reproductively
mature Blackspot Shiners collected from March–June 2002.
684 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No. 4
length of 56 mm in their first summer. Female Blackspot Shiners typically
mature by the beginning of their second spring (age-1). However, the presence
of developing ovaries in individuals as small as 47 mm in July indicates
that some early spawned or fast-growing individuals may reach sexual maturity
at age zero. Spawning by age-0 individuals has been suggested for other
cyprinids (Cowell and Barnett 1974, Heins and Clemmer 1975) including the
sympatric congener Notropis sabinae (Jordan and Gilbert) (Sabine Shiner)
(Williams and Bonner 2006) and has been confirmed in Cyprinella lutrensis
(Baird and Girard) (Red Shiner) (Marsh-Matthews et al. 2002).
Mean lengths of Blackspot Shiner in May were 63 mm (± 1.1 SE) and
71 mm (± 3.2) at upstream and downstream sites, respectively, whereas
mean lengths in June were 56 mm (± 2.3) and 36 mm (± 1.6) at upstream
and downstream sites, respectively. This large shift in mean lengths, low
abundance of adults, and high abundance of juveniles at downstream sites
from June–September suggests downstream drift of eggs or larvae, as has
been suggested for other stream fish (Heins and Baker 1989). Such drift is
consistent with previous reports that Blackspot Shiner is primarily restricted
to low-order streams (Evans and Noble 1979).
In contrast to these opportunistic reproductive traits, Blackspot Shiner
is an aquatic insectivore. Although food item availability data was not available,
aquatic insects comprised 84% of the diet of Blackspot Shiners. They
were abundant in stomachs across all months and were the most abundant food
source in all months except October. The abundance of aquatic insects, lack of
terrestrial insects, and high frequency of substrate in their stomachs indicate
that Blackspot Shiner is a benthic feeder (Heins and Clemmer 1975, Wilde et
al. 2001). Invertivorous fish have significant top-down effects in streams by
reducing densities of benthic grazing invertebrates (Hargrave 2006, Katano
et al. 2006). Thus, Blackspot Shiner, as one of the most abundant fishes in this
system, likely has a strong role in structuring the stream community.
Table 4. Mean total weight (mg); percent occurrence of plant material and substrate; and percent
of food items found in the stomachs of Blackspot Shiners collected from three sites on Bonita
Creek (Sites 1–3) and one site on LaNana Bayou (Site 4), TX, from November 2001–October
2002. UI parts = unidentified parts.
Mean total Plant Aquatic Aquatic Terrestrial Fish UI
weight material Substrate insects non-insects arthropods Detritus eggs parts
Month n (mg) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%)
Oct. 3 6.5 0.0 33.3 29.2 - 53.8 16.9 - -
Nov. 3 1.6 100.0 33.3 95.9 4.1 - - - -
Dec. 3 8.9 100.0 33.3 98.9 1.1 - - - -
Feb. 3 13.6 100.0 66.7 100.0 - - - - -
Mar. 3 7.0 66.7 100.0 63.6 - - 36.4 - -
Apr. 3 24.0 100.0 100.0 96.4 3.5 0.1 - - -
May 3 5.4 66.7 100.0 79.8 12.9 7.4 - - -
Jun. 3 4.5 33.3 66.7 55.9 - 4.4 39.0 0.7 -
Jul. 3 9.1 100.0 66.7 100.0 - - - - -
Aug. 3 30.7 66.7 100.0 99.9 - - - - 0.1
Sep. 3 1.2 100.0 100.0 100.0 - - - - -
2010 P.T. Bean, C.S. Williams, P.H. Diaz, and T.H. Bonner 685
Blackspot Shiner possesses several traits well suited to inhabiting highly
variable streams such as Bonita Creek and LaNana Bayou. Early maturation,
relatively short life spans, extended spawning periods, and downstream drift
of eggs or larvae are traits common to stream fishes inhabiting highly variable
systems (Begsten et al. 1989, Heins and Rabito 1986, Matthews et al.
1978, Platania and Altenback 1998) and comprise an overall opportunistic
life history. These opportunistic life-history traits allow for rapid dispersal
and recolonization, as droughts and floods are characteristic of east Texas
systems and may lead to temporary local extirpations. Despite possessing
opportunistic life-history characteristics, stream fishes such as Blackspot
Shiner face threats from disturbances such as impoundments or other stream
impediments which may preclude upstream recolonization of streams following
drought (Wilde and Ostrand 1999, Winston et al. 1991). Blackspot
Shiner has persisted in Bonita Creek and LaNana Bayou despite the effects
of extensive agriculture and urbanization in the surrounding landscape;
however, potential breaks in the connectivity of upstream and downstream
segments are likely the greatest threats to the future persistence of Blackspot
Shiner in this and other stream systems.
We thank C.L. Thomas, J.M. Watson, C.A. Hooker, M. Keagan, and B.M. Littrell for
assistance with field collections and M.G. Bean for assistance with laboratory analyses.
The US Forest Service-Kisatchie National Forest, US Army-Fort Polk Environmental
and Natural Resources, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation provided financial
support. Collections were made under Texas Parks and Wildlife scientific collecting
permit number SPR-0601-159 and Texas State University-San Marcos IACUC permit
number VbVT1N 01.
Bestgen, K.R., S.P. Platania, J.E. Brooks, and D.L. Propst. 1989. Dispersal and lifehistory
traits of Notropis girardi (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae), introduced into
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maculatus, in central Florida. American Midland Naturalist 91:282–293.
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Evans, J.W., and R.L. Noble. 1979. The longitudinal distribution of fishes in an east
Texas stream. American Midland Naturalist 101:333–343.
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