Common name: Bluehead Chub
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Page and Burr (1991); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).
Size: 26 cm.
Native Range: Atlantic and Gulf Slope drainages from Shenandoah River, Virginia, to Pearl River, Mississippi; mostly above Fall Line except in Alabama and Mississippi. Lower tributaries of Mississippi River, Mississippi and Louisiana; upper New River drainage, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina (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 Nocomis leptocephalus are found here.
Table last updated 9/28/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: All or most records are likely the result of bait bucket releases. In Virginia, the Bluehead Chub was probably introduced into the upper Rapidan around 1947 and then spread downstream to the Rappahannock. Straight Creek is a favored fishing area and was likely populated by a bait bucket release. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) considered the Shenandoah population to be probably native; however, others have considered it to be introduced (Jenkins et al. 1972, and others). The first record for the Potomac drainage is from 1956, from the South Fork Shenandoah. The records from Straight Creek are from 1975. The first record from the Rappahannock drainage is from 1947, from the Upper Rapidan. The chub then spread to the lower part of the drainage by 1972, and to the upper part by 1974. It reached the extreme upper tributaries of the Rappahannock in 1982 (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Based on collections during the past several decades (Gilbert 1992), the species may have been introduced into the Escambia River system in Alabama and subsequently spread downstream into Florida.
Status: Established in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and 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.
References: (click for full references)
Shute, P.W. and D.A. Etnier. 2000. Southeastern fishes council regional reports - 2000. Region III - North-Central.
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller
Revision Date: 5/6/2019
Peer Review Date: 9/5/2014
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2023, Nocomis leptocephalus (Girard, 1856): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=575, Revision Date: 5/6/2019, Peer Review Date: 9/5/2014, Access Date: 9/28/2023
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.