Mobile River Drainage

Hardhead Catfish (Ariopsis felis)

The Hardhead Catfish is found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Massachusetts to the Yucatan Peninsula. They are found in turbid, shallow, brackish water over mud and sand substrate, occasionally entering fresh water. Catfishes get their name from the “whiskers” (barbels) around their mouth, which have taste buds that aid in finding food. Males can carry an incredibly large number of eggs or young in their mouth.

Bay Anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli)

The Bay Anchovy is predominately a marine species but is found in bays, estuaries, and coastal rivers along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to Mexico. They can be distinguished from herrings and shads by their large upper jaw that extends back past their eye. They use their large mouth to filter feed for plankton.

Speckled Worm Eel (Myrophis punctatus)

The Speckled Worm Eel is found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from North Carolina to Brazil. They are found in shallow, brackish water of tidal creeks and bays. As the common name suggests, Speckled Worm Eels have speckles on their snake-like body. They also have long dorsal and anal fins.

Warrior Bass (Micropterus warriorensis)

As the common name suggests, the Warrior Bass has a patchy distribution in the Black Warrior River system of the Mobile Basin in west-central Alabama. The Warrior Bass is found in small, upland streams with in-stream cover. This species was recently described out of the Micropterus coosae (Redeye Bass) complex. As with other members of this complex, Warrior Basses have dusky bars or blotches along their sides and a red eye.

Pirate Perch (Aphredoderus sayanus)

The Pirate Perch is distributed in Coastal Plain habitats from Texas to New York, including low-lying Mississippi River and Great Lakes drainages through the Midwest. They are most closely associated with backwater habitats with vegetation, including slow streams, oxbows, and swamps. The most unusual character of this species is the positioning of the anus directly behind the gills on the underside of the throat in adults, which migrates during development from a position just before the anal fin in juveniles.

Least Killifish (Heterandria formosa)

Least Killifish are distributed in Atlantic and Gulf coast drainages from North Carolina to Texas. They can be found in slow-flowing fresh or brackish waters with heavy vegetation. Like other Livebearers, males have a modified anal fin (gonopodium) that is used for internal fertilization. As the common name suggests, Least Killifish are one of the smallest fish in the Southeast reaching no more than 1.5 inches in length.

Holiday Darter (Etheostoma brevirostrum)

The Holiday Darter is found in a single creek system in the upper Coosa River System in east-central Alabama. This species is part of a species complex containing unrecognized diversity. The common name of the Holiday Darter refers to the bright red and green colors found in breeding males. Like many members of the Snubnose Darter group, they have a blunt snout.

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata)

The American Eel is found across much of eastern North America from Newfoundland to Texas and south to South America. While they live in streams and rivers for most of their lives, they migrate as adults into the Atlantic Ocean where they spawn and die. Larvae are moved by ocean currents back to shoreline habitats where they migrate back up into rivers. American Eels have a snake-like body with a long dorsal fin and can be distinguished from lampreys by their jaws.

Southern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta meridiana)

The Southern Sand Darter is restricted to Coastal Plain rivers and larger streams in the Mobile Basin in Mississippi and Alabama. All Sand darters are translucent, so they blend in with the sand substrate they live upon. The Southern Sand Darter lives in the same habitat as the Naked Sand Darter (A. beanii), but they are fairly easy to tell apart. Southern Sand Darters have a body that is completely covered in scales, whereas the Naked Sand Darter lacks body scales except along the lateral line and on the caudal peduncle (region just before the caudal fin).

Highfin Carpsucker (Carpiodes velifer)

The Highfin Carpsucker is widespread in the Mississippi River Drainage as well as southeastern Gulf and Atlantic coast drainages. They live in many different habitats, though predominately in large rivers. As their common name suggests, Highfin Carpsuckers have a long and highly curved dorsal fin that is adapted for life in large rivers.