The blue shiner is a medium-sized minnow that grows to about 100 millimeters (4 inches) in total length. Males are larger than females. Nonbreeding males and females are dusky blue with pale yellow fins. The scales are diamond-shaped and outlined with melanophores. The lateral line is distinct. Breeding males develop nuptial tubercles, a yellowish tint in the fins, and a metallic blue sheen on the body. Females lack tubercles or breeding colors. Blue shiners are currently distributed within four watersheds (Figure 1): 1. Choccolocco Creek in Alabama, 2. West Fork of the Little River in Alabama, 3. Weogufka Creek in Alabama, and 4. Conasauga River in Georgia and Tennessee, which includes the lower Jacks River in Tennessee. The blue shiner has been considered extirpated from the Cahaba River watershed and Big Wills Creek since 1971 and 1958, respectively.
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