Common name: Spring Cavefish
Synonyms and Other Names: Chologaster agassizi, Forbesella agassizi
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Pflieger (1975); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993). Another commonly used name is Chologaster agassizi (Nelson 1984; Robins et al. 1991a). The names Forbesella agassizi and Chologaster papilliferus have also been used in the literature (Weise 1957; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Page and Burr 1991). Forbesichthys agassizi is one of two species in this family with functional eyes (Nelson 1984).
Size: 8.4 cm
Native Range: Springs and caves from central and western Kentucky (west to the Tennessee River) to south central Tennessee; west across southern Illinois to southeastern Missouri (Page and Burr 1991).
Puerto Rico &
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Forbesichthys agassizii are found here.
Table last updated 10/4/2018
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked from southern Illinois sites to establish a population near Quincy College. This population was intended to serve as a nearby source of fish for research (Weise 1957).
Status: The population apparently failed to reproduce and no longer exists. Weise (1957) suggested that the cavefish were swept downstream and taken by predators.
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980 et seq. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC. (Cited as a work rather than as individual accounts in the interest of space).
Nelson, J. S. 1994. Fishes of the world, 3rd edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.
Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.
Weise, J. G. 1957. The spring cave-fish, Chologaster papilliferus, in Illinois. Ecology 38(2):195-204.
Distribution in Illinois
Revision Date: 3/5/2011
Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016
Fuller, P., 2019, Forbesichthys agassizii (Putnam, 1872): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=304, Revision Date: 3/5/2011, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 8/25/2019
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.