Common name: Blacktail Shiner
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Smith (1979); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Pflieger (1997); another name commonly used is Notropis venustus. During recent years Cyprinella venusta has been recognized as a species complex, possibly representing as many as five different species (Gilbert, personal communication; also see Kristmundsdottir and Gold 1996). Recently, Gilbert (1998) formally elevated a few of the forms to species.
Size: 19 cm.
Native Range: Gulf drainages from Suwannee River, Georgia and Florida, to Rio Grande, Texas; Mississippi River basin (mostly on Former Mississippi Embayment) from southern Illinois to Louisiana and west in Red River drainage to western Oklahoma (Page and Burr 1991).
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 Cyprinella venusta are found here.
Table last updated 2/27/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: This species gained access to Kentucky Lake, Tennessee, via a canal connection, presumably the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway (Etnier and Starnes 1993). Although not reported from Stockton Lake, Missouri, until 1986, Pflieger (1997) suspected that it was inadvertently introduced into the lake as a stock contaminant along with an intentional introduction of the inland silverside Menidia beryllina from Lake Texoma, Oklahoma, in 1970. Branson (1968) concluded that Blacktail Shiners found in the Utah portion of the Virgin River probably migrated upstream from Lake Mead, but he did not speculate on the possible means of introduction into that lake. It is not certain when and how this species gained access to the Ocmulgee River drainage of Georgia. Bart et al. (1994) concluded that the species came from the nearby Flint River, but they were unable to determine if the species' presence in the Ocmulgee was the result of some natural event or of a bait bucket release.
Status: Established in Tennessee (Etnier and Starnes 1993) and Missouri (Pflieger 1997); introduced, possibly established, in Georgia (Bart et al. 1994); unsuccessful in Nevada (Branson 1968; Deacon and Williams 1984; Vinyard 2001).
Impact of Introduction: In the Ocmulgee of Georgia, there is the potential for the Blacktail Shiner to negatively affect closely related species native to the system through hybridization or competitive displacement (Bart et al. 1994). According to Bart et al. (1994), three native congeners are present in the Ocmulgee, the Ocmulgee shiner Cyprinella callisema, the bannerfin shiner C. leedsi, and the Altamaha shiner C. xaenura; the latter is listed as a state endangered species.
References: (click for full references)
Bart, Jr., H.L., M.S. Taylor, J.T. Harbaugh, J.W. Evans, S.L. Schleiger, and W. Clark. 1994. New distribution records of Gulf Slope drainage fishes in the Ocmulgee River system, Georgia. Proceedings Southeastern Fishes Council 30(12):4-10.
Etnier, D.A. and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.
Vinyard, G.L. 2001. Fish Species Recorded from Nevada. Biological Resources Research Center. University of Nevada, Reno. 5 pp.
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller
Revision Date: 4/11/2006
Peer Review Date: 4/11/2006
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2023, Cyprinella venusta Girard, 1856: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=521, Revision Date: 4/11/2006, Peer Review Date: 4/11/2006, Access Date: 4/1/2023
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.