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Re: NFC: First darter(?)

    Thanks for the report . Nice job . Darters are
found in lakes , rivers , swamps and creeks but most
of the highly colored ones seem to populate creeks .Im
not up on Harlequin darters myself but you have first
hand knowlege of the habitat they came from . Thats
something most tropical keepers never have . I enjoyed
hearing of your expedition .You may find people who
have collected or would like to collect in that area .
One tip I have is to let us have some idea of the
location of the lake . Happy collecting and have fun .

--- PrplShark at aol_com wrote:
> After my first collection, it is official........I
> was bitten by the 
> collecting bug. On February 18, curiosity got he
> best of me and another 
> collecting trip was in order. The weather was a
> little windy, and cool (mid 
> 60's) but that did not slow me down. So with bucket
> and nets in hand, away I 
> went. 
>    Upon arrival to the shore, waves have now
> replaced the once calm, 
> mirror-like surface of the lake. Foam from the
> churning action of the waves 
> was noted in a few area's. A lot of debris was now
> littering the shore line. 
> The wind has also caused a lot of water hyacyinth to
> collect along the banks, 
> and to me that was prime opportunity for dip
> netting. 
>    The first dip into the water was a bit "nippy" to
> say the least, but after 
> a few minuets of considering which hyacinth to
> inspect first, the coolness 
> was forgotten about, and the reason for being here
> came to mind. On the first 
> collecting trip, all I had acquired was the female
> Least killifish and I was 
> searching for the male this time.
>    The first few dip's of my net yielded the same
> that was caught the first 
> time, Gambusia, grass shrimp, crayfish, dragonfly
> nymph and the female Least 
> killifish. A few big female Least killifish were
> caught, so I placed them in 
> the bucket. To help with the shock of being
> transported, I placed a small 
> rooted hyacinth in the bucket, but not before taking
> a large specimen and 
> shaking it's root system in the bucket for the
> addition of some copepods and 
> crustaceans. This was for culturing later on and to
> see what was abundant.
>    After a while of collecting the same, I spotted a
> clump of hyacinth's in 
> with the alligator grass that was abundant along the
> shore, and went over to 
> inspect the area. The water depth was shallow. about
> 3-4 inches, so with the 
> dip net skimming the bottom I netted the hyacinth
> clump. Moving to deeper 
> water, I shook the plants root system and inspected
> the catch. A 2 inch 
> blotched streamlined fish was seen, and with my
> heart skipping a beat, I 
> placed the specimen in the bucket, not wanting to
> wait to observe the fish 
> for identification. An emerald green flash was noted
> on the gill cover, and 
> continuing to near the abdomen.
>    After returning home I placed the fish in my
> photo tank, inwhich has an 
> external filter that causes a mild current. After a
> while I returned to the 
> aquarium to observe my new catch, and hopefully to
> identify it. With my 
> Peterson's Field guide in hand, I began to flip
> through the pages excitingly 
> trying to get an idea of what I had caught. With
> reddish-orange on the first 
> and second dorsal, clear webbing of the dorsal fins
> and 2 dark spots on the 
> caudial, the only conclusion that I could see was
> Harlequin darter. This was 
> my first darter and other readings mentioned that
> darters are usually found 
> in creeks, streams or rivers with a current. This
> puzzled me, for this was a 
> lake. Have I found a possible specimen that was
> introduced or "lake locked"? 
> Are there more specimens?
>    If you are familiar with darters, please give me
> some ideas. Hopefully, 
> THANKS in advance.
> Victor
> Prplshark at aol_com

Bill Hoppe
Yellville Arkansas

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