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Abstract

The reproductive cycle, food habits, and age and growth of the river shiner, Notropis blennius (Girard), in the Arkansas River of western Arkansas were studied from May 1996 through October 1997. Based on gonadosomatic indices and mean ovumd iameters of females, tubercle development in males, and the first appearance of young-of-year in samples, the breeding season extended from June through August in both 1996 and 1997. The river shiner is a diurnal, generalist feeder that forages on a wide variety of food items. In all four seasons, detritus dominated the diets of adults and juveniles in terms of volume and frequency of occurrence. Aquatic insects and algae were also important food items. It is a short-lived, r-strategist; it has a maximum life expectancy of about two years and has successfully maintained stable populations in the Arkansas River for more than 30 years after the construction of the Arkansas River Navigation System.

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