Lamprey (Family Petromyzontidae) Diversity in North Carolina

By the Team In North Carolina, lampreys constitute a small family of very evolutionary primitive fishes. Most people, including fishermen, are not aware of their existence, unless one is fortunate enough to observe a spawning aggregation in the riffles of a clear Mountain or Coastal Plain stream during the late Winter or early Spring … Read more

“Three-of-a-Kind” – Pike (Family Esocidae) Diversity in North Carolina

By the Team North Carolina is home to 3 of the 4 species of Esox known to occur in North America: Redfin Pickerel, Esox americanus, Chain Pickerel, E. niger, and Muskellunge, E. masquinongy (Tracy et al. 2020). [Please note: Tracy et al. (2020) may be downloaded for free at:] There are two subspecies … Read more

“Minnow” Species Diversity in North Carolina

“Minnow” Species (Families Cyprinidae, Xenocyprididae, and Leuciscidae) Diversity in North Carolina By the Team Next to our native darters (Family Percidae), our native species of minnows rival the brightly colored tropical fishes one would find in your local or big-box pet store, yet few people are aware of their existence. You might have heard … Read more

Sunfishes (Family Centrarchidae) Diversity in North Carolina

By the Team There are 23 species of sunfishes in North Carolina (Table 1), including one undescribed species, “Bartram’s” Bass and one species, Redeye Bass, found in only the Hiwassee River basin (Tracy et al. 2020). You might have heard people calling them Stumpknocker, Bream, Goggleye, Robin, Perch, Shellcracker, Bronzeback, Kentucky Bass, Welshman, Tinmouth, … Read more

Freshwater Catfish (Family Ictaluridae) Diversity in North Carolina

By the Team There are 18 species of catfishes in North Carolina including 3 undescribed species (Table 1) (Tracy et al. 2020). You might have heard people calling them Bullheads, Mud Cats, Butter Balls, Blue Channel Cats, Madtoms, Squealers, or many more colorful colloquial names. But each species has its own scientific (Latin) name, … Read more

Identifying Suckers May Not Be as Hard as You Might Think

By the Team The correct identification of suckers (Family Catostomidae) may be intimidating to those students or citizens just beginning to study our extremely diverse and colorful freshwater fish fauna. With some practice and with a keen eye to details, one can master this skill, although it might take a while and require handling … Read more

Identification of North Carolina Freshwater Fishes

The first general description of North Carolina’s fish fauna was written by Thomas Ash in 1682. Our first state-specific checklist was provided by John Lawson in 1709 which was received in such high regard that it was later plagiarized extensively by John Brickell in 1737. Since becoming an official state of the Union in 1789, … Read more

Mystery of the Longear Sunfish’s Occurrence in North Carolina Solved

Longear Sunfish Lepomis megalotis was first reported from North Carolina by Edward Drinker Cope in 1870, but its whereabouts in the state had been a mystery for almost 150 years. Published literature perpetuated the occurrence of Longear Sunfish and eventually in 1986, its extirpation. Vouchered specimens from Cope’s 1869 survey and 1870 publication are not … Read more