Re: NANFA-- research help

Dave Neely (
Sun, 14 Nov 1999 09:30:48 CST


>...We have a population of rainbow
>darters in this region (southern Quebec). They're a long way from
>other population I know of. They also go back the the 30s in French
>language literature, (and don't make the range maps in English >sources).

I'm sure you've already checked Smith (1985), but they give the easternmost
population as inhabiting a small direct trib to Lake Ontario just E of the
mouth of the Gennessee. Rainbow darters aren't exactly something you might
confuse with another darter, so the range maps are probably valid. Most of
that part of the NE has been thoroughly surveyed (contact Kirsten Hartel at
the MCZ for more info on recent collections). I sampled across part of that
area with a friend of mine from UMass-Amherst last summer (looking for
Cottus), and we didn't get any caeruleum.

Have you tried searching the Cornell and MCZ collections (available online)?
If there ARE records of E. caeruleum from that area, they'll probably be
represented by museum records.

Considering the widespread effects of glaciation in that area, and the early
records available for the Quebec population, it seems more likely to infer
that it is native, and a glacial relict. Unfortunately, the best available
reference on zoogeography of the Laurentian Great Lakes (Underhill 1986) is
near-worthless in this regard. It is entirely possible that this population
of E. caeruleum was isolated by the same vicariance event that left
Moxostoma hubbsi in the St Lawrence- (both have their presumptive sister
taxa in the Ohio River drainages). In any case, it would be interesting to
see what sort of morphological or genetic differentiation has occurred.

Best of luck in your endeavours,

Smith, C.L. 1985. The inland fishes of New York State. NY Dept of
Environ. Conserv. Albany, NY.

Underhill, J.C. 1986. The fish fauna of the Laurentian Great
Lakes,the St Lawrence lowlands, Newfoundland, and Labrador.
Pages 105-136 IN: C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley. The Zoogeography
of North American Freshwater Fishes. John Wiley and Sons, NY.

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