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Volume 77—1997

{Page 125}

New Oklahoma Localities for Shortnose Gar (Lepisosteus platostomus), Largescale Stoneroller (Campostoma oligolepis), and Bluehead Shiner (Pteronotropis hubbsi).

Roger P. Lemmons, M. Jason Hood, and Loren G. Hill
Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman OK, 73019.

Oklahoma's ichthyofauna is well known (1 ) as are species' ranges (2,3). Nevertheless, the exact distribution of some fishes differs from published accounts (e.g., 4). Accurate species' distributions are needed to monitor the status of Oklahoma fishes.

Here, we report new localities for three species, Lepisosteus platostomus, Campostoma oligolepis, and Pteronotropis hubbsi. Collections were made using a heavily-leaded seine, 4.51.8 m with 4.8 mm mesh. The specimens are cataloged in the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, University of Oklahoma.

Shortnose Gar (Lepisosteus platostomus). On April 4, 1996, we collected one individual (580 mm TL) from a debris-filled, Washita River backwater north of Anadarko, Caddo County (T7N R10W S15). It was collected by kicking beneath a partially submerged, concrete runoff apron in water that was 1 m deep, with a compacted sand substrate. At the time of collection, the main channel had fast flow because of previous rains. Our collection extends the distribution of L. platostomus (as described in 2,3) approximately 103 km west in the Washita River.

Largescale Stoneroller (Campostoma oligolepis). On April 24, 1996, we collected two individuals from Ballard Creek, east of Highway 59, Adair County (T19N R25E S36). This swift, clear, rocky creek is a tributary of the Illinois River. The creek has suffered at least three ammonia fish kills in the last 12 years, including one as recently as 1992 (Mark Howery, pers. comm.). Our collection indicates the persistence or recolonization of this species along with several others classified as intolerant of changes in water quality: banded sculpin (Cottus carolinae), Ozark minnow (Notropis nubilus), southern redbelly dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster), cardinal shiner (Luxilus cardinalis), and smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) (1).

Also, we collected five individuals from Sallisaw Creek, west of Marble City, Sequoyah County (T13N R23E S26). This medium-sized stream flows into Robert S. Kerr Reservoir, an Arkansas River mainstream impoundment. The stream's swift, clear water and rocky substrate matched described habitats (5). Our record is the first known for C. oligolepis outside the Illinois River drainage in Oklahoma (6). A widescale study is needed to determine if C. oligolepis exists in other Arkansas River tributaries of eastern Oklahoma.

Campostoma oligolepis and the numerically dominant central stoneroller (C. anomalum pullum) were collected at both Ballard and Sallisaw Creeks. We found overlap in meristic characteristics, for example lateral line and body circumferential scales, which agrees with a previous study of sympatric Illinois River populations (7). We identified breeding males of C. oligolepis by lack of a black band in the anal fin, which occurs in breeding males of C. anomalum (5). Other specimens were identified using a combination of the following counts: lateral line scales, body circumferential scales, and gill rakers (7).

Bluehead Shiner (Pteronotropis hubbsi). On April 25, 1996, we collected 16 individuals from bar pits east of Highway 70, north of the Little River, McCurtain County (T7S R24E S14). These swampy areas were 1.0-1.5 m deep, with a 0.5 m deep substrate of silt and detritus. The fish were collected

immediately next to emergent and floating aquatic vegetation. The bar pits were not connected to the Little River at the time of capture.

Pteronotropis hubbsi is sensitive to habitat change, and its distribution in Oklahoma is limited, as are other species we collected in sympatry: grass pickerels (Esox americanus), Blair's starhead topminnows (Fundulus blairae), a banded pygmy sunfish (Elassoma zonatum), bantam sunfish (Lepomis symmetricus), and swamp darters (Etheostoma fusiforme) (1,3). We did not find P. hubbsi in a series of bar pits from which we collected a melanistic bowfin (Amia calva), although the habitat appeared similar.

These bar pits have been sampled by various investigators at least eight times since 1960 (Jimmie Pigg, pers. comm.), with no record of P. hubbsi. The only previous Oklahoma collections are from Crooked Creek and its mainstream impoundment, Forked Lake, in McCurtain County (8). Our collection indicates a possible eastward migration via the Little River and represents approximately a 16 km eastward continental range extension.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We thank the 1996 ichthyology class at the University of Oklahoma for collection assistance.

REFERENCES

1.   Jester, D.B., Echelle, A.A., Matthews, W.J., Pigg, J., Scott, C.M., and Collins, K.D., The fishes of Oklahoma, their gross habitats and their tolerance of degradation in water quality and habitat. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 72, 7-19 (1992).

2.   Miller, R.J., and Robison, H.W., The Fishes of Oklahoma. Okla. St. Univ. Press, Stillwater, OK (1973).

3.   Page, L.M., and Burr, B.M., A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America North of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston (1991).

4.   Milligan, A.R., and Lemmons, R.P., Occurrence of the central stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum) in the upper Washita River drainage. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 73, 71-72 (1993).

5.   Burr, B.M., and Smith, P.W., Status of the largescale stoneroller, Campostoma oligolepis. Copeia 1976, 521-531 (1976).

6.   Burr, B.M., Campostoma oligolepis Hubbs and Greene, largescale stoneroller, in Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. (Lee, D.S., Gilbert, C.R., Hocutt, C.H., Jenkins, R.E., McAllister, D.E., and Stauffer J.R., Jr., Eds.) N.C. St. Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh, NC (1980) p. 145.

7.   Burr, B.M., Cashner, R.C., and Pflieger, W.L., Campostoma oligolepis and Notropis ozarcanus (Pisces: Cyprinidae), Two additions to the known fish fauna of the Illinois River, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Southwest. Nat. 24, 381-403 (1979).

8.   Taylor, C.M., and Norris, S.M., Notes on the reproductive cycle of Notropis hubbsi (bluehead shiner) in southeastern Oklahoma. Southwest. Nat. 37, 89-92 (1992).

Received: 1997 Mar 14; Accepted: 1997 Aug 11