The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Notropis telescopus
Notropis telescopus
(Telescope Shiner)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Notropis telescopus (Cope, 1868)

Common name: Telescope Shiner

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994). It was previously considered a subspecies of the popeye shiner Notropis ariommus.

Size: 9.4 cm.

Native Range: Disjunct; Cumberland and Tennessee River drainages, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama; Little, St. Francis, and White river systems, Missouri and Arkansas (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

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 Notropis telescopus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
NC199119912Upper Catawba; Upper Yadkin
VA195820075James; Kanawha; Middle New; Upper James; Upper New
WV197219948Big Sandy; Gauley; Greenbrier; Kanawha; Lower Kanawha; Middle New; Upper James; Upper Kanawha

Table last updated 5/25/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Unknown; probable bait bucket release. According to Jenkins and Burkhead (1994), the species was first taken in the New River drainage from Big Walker Creek, Virginia, in 1958. They noted that the pattern of these and subsequent records indicates that Notropis telescopus was established in the Virginia portion of the New drainage in the mid- or late 1950s. The likely source of the introduction was given as the Tennessee River drainage, but Jenkins and Burkhead were uncertain in which stream the New drainage population was founded. They believed it to be in the middle third of the Virginia section below Claytor Dam and that the species subsequently dispersed into upstream and downstream areas. It was first taken in West Virginia from East River and Greenbrier system (both New drainage) in 1972 (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). According to Jenkins and Burkhead (1994), its appearance in the upper James was likely the result of a single introduction, probably occurring before closure in 1980 of Gathright Dam on the Jackson River.

Status: Established in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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.

Remarks: Lee et al. (1980 et seq.) stated that it was apparently introduced to the New (upper Kanawha) drainage of Virginia and West Virginia. Hocutt et al. (1986) listed it as introduced to the James River drainage and introduced (but possibly native) to the Santee and to the Kanawha above and below the falls. Starnes and Etnier (1986) noted that its presence in the New and Santee (Catawba) drainages was the result of recent introductions. In his summary table on North Carolina fishes, Menhinick (1991) listed it as probably introduced to the Yadkin River drainage and regarded it as native (possibly introduced) to the Catawba River drainage. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) regarded it as introduced (but possibly native) to the James and New river drainages. Stauffer et al. (1995) listed it as introduced (possibly native) to the Kanawha above and below the falls; they regarded it as introduced to the James River drainage, but noted that it was not known from that portion of the drainage in West Virginia. Hocutt et al. (1986) considered it as probably introduced to the New; however, they noted that the absence of this and other minnows in historical collections may have been due to inadequate sampling. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) discussed the distribution of this species in Virginia and surrounding areas and detailed its probable introduction and spread in the New River drainage. Concerning the New population, these authors stated that the data now available from many sources supports its introduced status and, furthermore, suggest rapid dispersal. Because of its recent introduction, Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) predicted that the species appeared poised to explode in the upper James drainage.

References: (click for full references)

Hocutte, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the Fishes of the Central Appalachians and Central Atlantic Coastal Plain. In C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes.161-212.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L.

Revision Date: 7/2/2019

Peer Review Date: 4/20/2010

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2024, Notropis telescopus (Cope, 1868): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=612, Revision Date: 7/2/2019, Peer Review Date: 4/20/2010, Access Date: 5/25/2024

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.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [5/25/2024].

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