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.

Cyprinella galactura
Cyprinella galactura
(Whitetail Shiner)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Cyprinella galactura (Cope, 1868)

Common name: Whitetail Shiner

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); a commonly used name is Notropis galacturus.

Size: 15 cm.

Native Range: Disjunct range east and west of Former Mississippi Embayment. Cumberland and Tennessee River drainages, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi; upper Savannah and Santee drainages (Atlantic Slope), North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia; and upper New River drainage, Virginia. St. Francis and White River drainages, 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 Cyprinella galactura are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
KY198119812Lower Levisa; Upper Levisa
NC199120134Seneca; Upper Broad; Upper Catawba; Upper New
SC200920092Seneca; Tugaloo
VA193720073Middle New; Upper Levisa; Upper New
WV197319831Middle New

Table last updated 4/22/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Populations of this species, interpreted as the result of human introductions, were most likely the result of bait bucket releases. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) believed that the West Virginia population is the result of dispersal downstream from the introduced population in the New River in Virginia.

Status: Established, possibly introduced, in parts of Kentucky, 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: Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) provided a series of arguments to support their position that this species was introduced into both the Big Sandy and New drainages. Both Lee et al. (1980 et seq.) and Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) concluded that its presence in the New River drainage was likely the result of human introduction because the species was not present in early collections. Previously, a few researchers had believed that the Big Sandy and New drainages were part of the species' natural distribution, possibly relict populations or the result of recent stream capture events (references in Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Similarly, Tsai and Raney (1974) stated that C. galactura may have entered the Savannah River drainage of Atlantic Slope via stream capture.

Voucher specimens: Virginia (USNM 104157).

References: (click for full references)

Rohde, F. C., R. G. Arndt, J. W. Foltz, and J. M. Quattro. 2009. Freshwater Fishes of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC. 430 pp.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller

Revision Date: 1/4/2010

Peer Review Date: 1/4/2010

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2024, Cyprinella galactura (Cope, 1868): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=517, Revision Date: 1/4/2010, Peer Review Date: 1/4/2010, Access Date: 4/22/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/22/2024].

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