Notropis melanostomus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae

Scientific Name: Notropis melanostomus Bortone, 1989
Common Name(s):
English Blackmouth Shiner

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-04-16
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
This species is listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 sq km, area of occupancy probably is less than 2,000 sq km, number of locations may not exceed 10 (or area of occupancy may be severely fragmented), and habitat quality is subject to ongoing degradation.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Range includes the Blackwater-Yellow river system (Pensacola Bay drainage), Florida; Bay Minette Creek (a tributary to the lower end of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta), Alabama; and lower Pascagoula River system (lower Black Creek and Chickasawhay River), Mississippi (Ross 2001, Boschung and Mayden 2004, Page and Burr 2011).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by at least several distinct occurrences, but these are confined to small portions of only a few watersheds.

Prior to 1995, Notropis melanostomus had been collected from only three localities in Mississippi; eight new localities were discovered in Mississippi in 1995, and the species was first recorded in Alabama in 2003 (O'Connell et al. 2005). There has probably not been enough sampling to accurately represent the actual range-wide distribution of this species.

The total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. This species can be locally numerous, but overall it is rare (Suttkus and Bailey 1990). The number of individuals in Florida has been estimated to be between 10,000 and 20,000; the species is rarely collected by conventional methods. Page and Burr (2011) characterized this species as rare as localized.

The spotty occurrence of this species in ephemeral habitat makes it difficult to determine trends.

Trend over the past three generations is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat includes detritus- and silt-bottomed pools and quiet backwaters (variable depth and amount of rooted aquatic vegetation), creeks, small rivers, sloughs, and oxbow lakes (with Bald Cypress and Black Gum) off the main channel of medium-sized to large streams; the species has been observed in mid-water of open areas near aquatic vegetation, and, in other sites, in shallow marginal areas and around submerged dead branches or brush (Bortone 1989, Suttkus and Bailey 1990, Ross 2001, Boschung and Mayden 2004, Page and Burr 2011).
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The type locality was modified by nearby clearing and construction (Suttkus and Bailey 1990). Its preferred habitat is being encroached rapidly by commercial and "domestic" development (Bortone 1989). Development along lower Blackwater River and Pond Creek threatens the occurrence there. Pollution is a major potential threat in most areas. Short life span and periodic habitat drying (e.g., of oxbow lakes) make the species vulnerable to local extirpation.

Jelks et al. (2008) categorized this species as Threatened due to (1) present or threatened destruction, modification, or reduction of habitat or range and (2) restricted range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Better information is needed on basic ecology, life history, and behavior.

Further surveys, including multiple surveys of single sites, are needed in areas of suitable habitat, including oxbows and backwaters in the Escatawpa and Perdido River systems in Alabama (B. R. Kuhajda). Populations in the lower Blackwater River, Pascagoula River, Chickasawhay River, and Black Creek should be monitored. Shoal River site should be surveyed to determine if the species still exists there.

Maintain natural integrity of stream systems; prevent pollution, over-use of water table, habitat disturbance. Protect lower Blackwater, Shoal and Pascagoula rivers and their tributaries (lower reaches especially). Retain naturally forested corridors along and upstream of occurrences, and prevent development and the placement of septic tanks within associated floodplain.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%)   

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.2. Commercial & industrial areas
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%)   

9. Pollution -> 9.1. Domestic & urban waste water -> 9.1.1. Sewage
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown   

9. Pollution -> 9.1. Domestic & urban waste water -> 9.1.2. Run-off
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown   

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

Bibliography [top]

Bortone, S. 1989. Notropis melanostomus, a new species of cyprinid fish from the Blackwater-Yellow River drainage of northwest Florida. Copeia 1989: 737-741.

Bortone, S.A. and Gilbert, C.R. 1992. Blackmouth shiner Notropis melanostomus. In: C.R. Gilbert (ed.), Volume II. Fishes, pp. 58-62. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Boschung, H.T. and Mayden, R.L. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Jelks, H.L., Walsh, S.J., Burkhead, N.M., Contreras-Balderas, S., Dφaz-Pardo, E., Hendrickson, D.A., Lyons, J., Mandrak, N.E., McCormick, F., Nelson, J.S., Platania, S.P., Porter, B.A., Renaud, C.B., Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, J., Taylor, E.B. and Warren, M.L., Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8): 372-407.

Nelson, J.S., Crossman, E.J., Espinosa-Perez, H., Findley, L.T., Gilbert, C.R., Lea, R.N. and Williams, J.D. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

O'Connell, M.T., O'Connell, A.M.U. and Williams, J.D. 2005. Assessment of rarity of the blackmouth shiner Notropis melanostomus (Cyprinidae) based on museum and recent survey data. Southeastern Naturalist 4: 247-260.

Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts.

Robins, C.R., Bailey, R.M., Bond, C.E., Brooker, J.R., Lachner, E.A., Lea, R.N. and Scott, W.B. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society.

Ross, S.T. and Brenneman, W.M. 1991. Distribution of freshwater fishes in Mississippi. Freshwater Fisheries Report No. 108. D-J Project Completion Report F-69. Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Parks, Jackson, Mississippi.

Ross, S.T. (with W.M. Brennaman, W.T. Slack, M.T. O'Connell, and T.L. Peterson). 2001. The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi.

Suttkus, R.D. and Bailey, R.M. 1990. Characters, relationships, distribution, and biology of Notropis melanostomus, a recently named cyprinid fish from southeastern United States. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 722: 1-15.

Citation: NatureServe. 2013. Notropis melanostomus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T14889A19034914. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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