Because meaningful observations of natural history are not always part of larger studies, important pieces of information often are unreported. Small details, however, can fills gaps in understanding and also lead to interesting questions about ecological relationships or environmental change. We have compiled recent observations of foods, reproduction, record size, parasites, and distribution of 30 species of fishes, new records of distribution and parasites of 2 species of amphibians, and new records of distribution, parasites, reproduction and anomalies of 11 species of mammals.
In Fig. 2, we reported unknown plant seeds eaten by 6 of 37 (16%) Western Starhead Topminnows (Fundulus blairae) in southwestern Arkansas. We have since determined that this is in error and the food item is actually statoblasts (“flotatoblasts”) of a species of plumatellid bryozoan (see Wood 2009). The reticulated pattern across the central part of the statoblast (see fig. referenced above) is a distinctive feature of Plumatella vaihiriae Hastings, 1929. Bryozoans have been considered to be of little relative importance in the diet of freshwater fishes. Interestingly, fredericellid bryozoans were reported to compose as much as 75% by volume of sunfish (Lepomis spp.) diet at Bull Shoals Reservoir, Arkansas (Applegate 1966). In addition, bryozoans made up 35% of the diet of Bluegill (L. macrochirus) in DeGray Reservoir (Bryant and Moen 1976). This is the first time bryozoans have been reported to be eaten by F. blairae or, to our knowledge, any other species of topminnow. Acknowledgments We thank Dr. Tim Wood (Wright St. University, Dayton, OH) for confirming the identity of this bryozoan. Literature Cited Applegate RL. 1966. The use of a bryozoan, Fredericella sultana, as food by sunfish in Bull Shoals Reservoir. Limnology and Oceanography 11:129‒130. Bryant HE and TE Moen. 1976. Food of Bluegill and Longear Sunfish in DeGray Reservoir, Arkansas, 1976. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science 34:31‒33. Wood TS. Bryozoans. In: Thorp JH and AP Covich, editors. Chapter 13. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Academic Press (London). p 505‒523.
Tumlison, R.; McAllister, C. T.; Robison, H. W.; Connior, M. B.; Sasse, D. B.; Cloutman, D. G.; Durden, L. A.; Bursey, C. R.; Fayton, T. J.; Schratz, S.; and Buckley, M.
"Vertebrate Natural History Notes from Arkansas, 2017,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 71
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol71/iss1/8