Life history of the bronze darter, Percina palmaris, in the Tallapoosa River, Alabama

  • Werner Wieland
Part of the Developments in environmental biology of fishes book series (DEBF, volume 4)


Specimens of Percina palmaris from tributaries of the Tallapoosa River were examined for food, reproductive biology, age, and growth. Individuals were largely restricted to riffle areas with fast current and rubblegravel substrate where fish density was higher than that reported for other species of Percina. Few other species were commonly taken with P. palmaris in its preferred habitat. Both sexes matured at one year of age and males appeared ready to spawn in mid February although females did not contain mature ova until March. Spawning occurred from early May to mid June and peaked at water temperatures of 18-20° C in late May. Although mature males were significantly larger than females, the oldest specimen examined was a female in its fourth year of life (3+). Generally P. palmaris is an opportunistic sight feeder although some selectivity in food items was suggested. Twenty-six food categories were identified from stomach contents over the course of the study. Diet consisted almost exclusively of immature insects and monthly diversity ranged from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 20 insect families. Percina palmaris possesses some specialized as well as generalized life history attributes placing it near the middle of a generalized-specialized life history continuum for Percina. This is in agreement with its systematic status in this genus.


Percidae Ecology Reproduction Fecundity Growth. Survival Diet 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers, The Hague 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Wieland
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Alabama Cooperative Fishery Research UnitAuburn UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Biological SciencesMary Washington CollegeFredericksburgUSA

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