occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Range includes the Atlantic Slope of North America from the St. Lawrence River drainage, Quebec, to the Potomac River drainage, Virginia; Great Lakes (except Lake Superior), Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from Ontario and New York to southeastern North Dakota and south to eastern Oklahoma and northern Alabama, with isolated populations in the Ozark region) (Page and Burr 2011).
Length: 11 cm
Habitat and Ecology
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Comments: Habitat includes moderate to large streams and rivers of low to high turbidity, with bottom of sand, gravel, mud or rubble (Lee et al. 1980). Sometimes this species occurs in lakes and sloughs (Becker 1983). Most frequently it occurs in large creeks and small rivers with clear permanent flow; not typically in larger turbid rivers or intermittent creeks; usually it is in or near riffles or raceways over gravel in moderate to fast current (Mayden 1989). Spawning occurs in rock crevices, on logs having loose bark or crevices, or on underside of submerged logs or roots (Becker 1983, Scott and Crossman 1973), near riffles in swift current (Mayden 1989).
Arkansas River Benthopelagic Habitat
This taxon is one of a several benthopelagic species in the Arkansas River system. Benthopelagic river fish are found near the river bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton.The Arkansas River rises near Leadville, Colorado at an elevation of approximately 3010 meters about thirty kilometers north of Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak.
Tthe upper reaches of the Arkansas River manifest turbulent high gradient passage through rugged volcanic terrain; the flow continues to the Royal Gorge, where one of the world's highest suspension bridges towers 320 meters above the river surface; thereafter, the river course flows generally eastward through Kansas, thence southeastward through Oklahoma and Arkansas until its discharge to the Mississippi River. The river basin also includes parts of the states of New Mexico, Texas and Missouri.
Chief tributaries of the Arkansas River are Purgatoire River, Fountain Creek, Pawnee River, Salt Fork River, Illinois River,Verdigris River, Neosho River, Cimarron River and the Canadian River. The mean annual discharge at Little Rock, Arkansas is approximately 1118 cubic meters per second, a level remarkably undifferentiated from virgin flow, before the era of locks, impoundments and extraction.
Water quality at the headwaters near Leadville, Colorado is quite high, consisting of cold, rapidly flowing water of pH 6.3. Concentrations of calcium, sodium, magnesium and chloride are all less than ten milligrams per liter in this pristine headwaters area.
Crossing the Southern Plains below Great Bend, Kansas, the pH elevates to a level of 8.0, sodium concentrations rise to a range of 300 to 500 mg/l, with other ions rising by similar large percentages. After receiving the more pristine runoff from the Ozark Plateau, below Fort Smith, Arkansas, the pH level can be measured as low as 7.5, and sodium along with other ion concentrations are reduced by a factor of four. At the Mississippi Embayment, nitrate and phosphate levels are elevated due to row crop agricultural runoff of this region.
There are 141 species of fish present in the Arkansas basin, including two near endemic benthopelagic species: slough darter (Etheostoma gracile) and speckled darter (Etheostoma stigmae). The federally threatened and near-endemic Neosho madtom (Noturus placidus) occurs in the Neosho River, a tributary that rises in the Flint Hills. Also present in the Neosho River is the endangered Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka). The cardinal shiner (Luxilus cardinalis) is a near-endemic that is now restricted to populations in the Arkansas River and Red River, and disjunctive populations in the Neosho River.
In the upper Arkansas River mainstem a number of reptiles are found in the upper basin, including yellow mud turtle (Kinosternon flavescens), midland smooth softshell (Apalone mutica), western spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera hartwegi) and northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon). In the downriver portions of the basin (Eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas) are found the false map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica) and the venomous cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus).
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Comments: Eats mainly insects, both aquatic and terrestrial (Becker 1983); plants material and fishes also recorded in diet (Mayden 1989).
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: > 300
Comments: This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences (subpopulations).
Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but very large.
Life History and Behavior
Comments: Most feeding activity occurs shortly before dusk and probably shortly after dawn (Mayden 1989).
Spawns in late spring and summer. Eggs hatch in about 5 days. Both sexes sexually mature at age 1 but may not spawn until age 2 (Becker 1983). Most live only 2+ years; some reach 5 years. Produces sounds that may function in spawning activity and/or species recognition.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Cyprinella spiloptera
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cyprinella spiloptera
Public Records: 20
Specimens with Barcodes: 43
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Total adult population size is unknown but very large.
Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable or slowly declining.
Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)
Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable or slowly declining.
Comments: No major threats are known.
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Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Removed from genus Notropis and placed in genus (formerly subgenus) Cyprinella by Mayden (1989); this change was adopted in the 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991). Geographic variation was summarized by Schaefer and Cavender (1986), who rejected the two subspecies recognized by Gibbs (1957). Hybridization with the red shiner (C. lutrensis) in Illinois resulted in a rapid dilution of the spiloptera gene pool (Page and Smith 1970).