Amblyopsidae. They have no eyes and almost no pigment, making them nearly transparent. On average members of this species have a length close to 50 mm, ranging from 30-58 mm. They have an elongated, flattened head with a laterally constricted snout and a terminal mouth. has no pelvic fins, a relatively high dorsal fin that mirrors the anal fin in size and shape, and a rounded paddle-shaped homocercal tail. Embedded cycloid scales cover the body and bifurcate fin rays are absent in all fins. Alabama cavefish have an elaborate system of sensory papillae on the sides and head and a hypertrophied lateral-line. The major distinguishing feature between it, and the only other cavefish in Alabama, Typhlichthys subterraneus, are the three nonpapilliferous fin rays between the medial-most rows of caudal sensory papillae (whereas T. subterraneus has 5). (Romero, 1998)is a troglobitic fish of the family
Nothing is known about mating systems in this species of cavefish.
Little is known about the mate selection, life cycle, or breeding cycle of Amblyopsidae. Some studies have suggested that practices branchial incubation, based on the location of the vent and the size of the branchial chamber. The females in the population do not all reproduce annually and each fertile female only releases a few eggs per mating season. Seasonal cave flooding is responsible for hormonal changes that initiate the reproductive cycle. (Kuhajda and Mayden, 2001; Romero, 1998). However, repeated visits to the cave have to established a summer spawning. This is interesting because it is differs from the typical pattern of late winter and spring spawnings for other species of
Though not yet witnessed in this species of Amblyopsidae, are likely gill cavity brooders, like their kin. The male of the species is the most likely candidate to harbor the eggs untill their hatching, as is the case with the other North American cavefish. (Moe, 2002)
There is little to nothing known about behavior in Alabama cavefish. They are likely to be active at any time of the day or night since there is no difference between day and night in these environments.
No invasive studies have been done due to the species extremely endangered status and the fragility of their cave habitat. It is thought that the diet consists of copepods, isopods, amphipods, and small cavefish. In any case sits at the top of a food chain that begins with incident grey bat (Myotis grisescens) droppings, or guano. ("Species accounts- Alabama Cavefish", 1991)
These fish have few or no predators because they live in caves with an impoverished fauna. They are top predators in this enclosed ecosystem.
Alabama cavefish are a fascinating example of isolated cave evolution.
There are no negative effects of Alabama cavefish on humans.
Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
David Moore (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Kevin Wehrly (editor, instructor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
uses electric signals to communicate
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
an animal that mainly eats fish
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Endangered Species. Species accounts- Alabama Cavefish. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1991. Accessed October 17, 2005 at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/i/e/sae1c.html.
Kuhajda, B., R. Mayden. 2001. Status of the federally endangered Alabama cavefish, Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni (Amblyopsidae), in Key Cave and surrounding caves, Alabama. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 62: 215-222. Accessed October 17, 2005 at http://www.springerlink.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/(havmk0qi5zrmh345pwstpiby)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,20,34;journal,42,89;linkingpublicationresults,1:102877,1.
Moe, M. 2002. "Advanced Aquariast's Online Magazine" (On-line). Science, Biology, and Terminology of Fish reproduction. Accessed December 05, 2005 at http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/june2002/breeder.htm.
Romero, A. 1998. Threatened fishes of the world: Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni Cooper and Kuehne, 1974 (Amblyopsidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes, 53: 293-294. Accessed October 17, 2005 at http://www.springerlink.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/(sf3ylwqvxptsmo45z5h3jy55)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,6,11;journal,72,89;linkingpublicationresults,1:102877,1.