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Scientific name: Cyprinella caerulea
Size: To 3 in.
Range: Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee in the Coosa river system. Formerly found in the Cahaba river system in Alabama.
Habitat: Pools or moderate current in cool, clear streams
Diet: Terrestrial insects and aquatic insect larvae
Conservation status: Federally Threatened
Blue shiners, a beautiful small minnow, have disappeared from more than half of their range. Because they use visual displays for reproduction, they are dependent on clear streams, which are being replaced by muddy waters because of erosion problems. They are also threatened by hybridization with invasive red shiners, a species that has become widespread outside of its native range through bait bucket releases. We have completed a genetic study of the blue shiner to identify how best to manage the four isolated populations.
George, A. L., J. B. Caldieraro, K. M. Chartrand, and R. L. Mayden. 2008. Population Structure of the Blue Shiner, Cyprinella caerulea. Southeastern Naturalist 7(4):637-650.