endemic to a single nation
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (1000-20,000 square km (about 400-8000 square miles)) Range includes the Tallapoosa River system of Georgia and Alabama, and Sofkahatchee Creek (a westward flowing tributary of the lower Coosa River system of Alabama) (Mettee et al. 1996, Boschung and Mayden 2004, Page and Burr 2011). The species is widespread in the Tallapoosa River system but may be quite rare locally (Cashner et al. 1988). Most of the known range is in Alabama.
Extent of occurrence may be less than 5,000 square kilometers.
Length: 9 cm
Habitat and Ecology
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Comments: This fish occurs over sand and gravel in margins, pools, and backwaters of creeks and small to medium rivers; it seems to be most abundant in shallow sandy backwaters of clean, free-flowing, medium-sized creeks (Cashner et al. 1988, Mettee et al. 1996, Boschung and Mayden 2004, Page and Burr 2011).
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Comments: Mettee et al. (1996) and Boschung and Mayden mapped 20-21 collection sites representing perhaps 12-15 distinct occurrences (subpopulations).
Comments: Total adult population size is unknown. Page and Burr (2011) described this species as locally common, whereas Boschung and Mayden (2004) stated that the species is "uncommon in many areas" and "its numbers are usually few at any given site."
Life History and Behavior
Spawns probably in late spring and early summer (Mettee et al. 1996).
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Small range in the Tallapoosa River system, Alabama and Georgia, and the lower Coosa River system, Alabama; generally uncommon and poorly known.
Total adult population size is unknown. Page and Burr (1991) described this species as locally common, whereas Boschung and Mayden (2004) stated that the species is "uncommon in many areas" and "its numbers are usually few at any given site."
Trends are unknown.
Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable to decline of 30%
Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but probably relatively stable or slowly declining.
Global Long Term Trend: Unknown
Degree of Threat: Unknown
Comments: Impoundments and degradation of water quality in streams presumably pose some level of threat.
Biological Research Needs: The biology and status of this species are poorly known.
The Stippled studfish (Fundulus bifax) is a small freshwater fish which is endemic to the Tallapoosa River system in Georgia and Alabama, USA; and Sofkahatchee Creek (lower Coosa River system) in Alabama. It belongs to the genus Fundulus in the Fundulidae family of killifish and topminnows.
References[edit source | edit]
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2010). "Fundulus bifax" in FishBase. January 2010 version.
- "Stippled Studfish". Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Outdoor Alabama. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- Cashner, R.C., J.S. Rogers and J.M. Grady 1988 Fundulus bifax, a new species of the subgenus Xenisma from the Tallapoosa and Coosa river systems of Alabama and Georgia. Copeia (3):674-683.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Fundulus bifax formerly was included in F. stellifer; bifax is separable from stellifer by complete allelic differences at several loci and by details of pigmentation and breeding coloration (Rogers and Cashner 1987, Cashner et al. 1988). Allozyme data indicate that F. bifax is the sister to F. catenatus and that F. stellifer forms the sister group to the F. bifax-F. catenatus clade (Cashner et al. 1992).
The genus Fundulus was removed from Atheriniformes:Cyprinodontidae and placed in Cyprinodontiformes:Fundulidae by Parenti (1981); pending confirmation based on other character suites, this change was not accepted in the 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991). See Wiley (1986) for a study of the evolutionary relationships of Fundulus topminnows based on morphological characters. See Cashner et al. (1992) for an allozyme-based phylogenetic analysis of the genus Fundulus .