Erimonax monachus - (Cope, 1868)
Spotfin Chub
Synonym(s): Cyprinella monacha (Cope, 1868)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Erimonax monachus (Cope, 1868) (TSN 689041)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105913
Element Code: AFCJB49270
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Minnows and Carps
Image 279

© Noel Burkhead & Virginia Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries (Fishes of Virginia)

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae Erimonax
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Broughton, R. E., and J. R. Gold. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships in the North American cyprinid genus Cyprinella (Actinopterygii: Cyprinidae) based on sequences of the mitochondrial ND2 and ND4L genes. Copeia 2000:1-10.
Concept Reference Code: A00BRO01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cyprinella monacha
Taxonomic Comments: This species was removed from the genus Hybopsis and placed in the genus (formerly subgenus) Cyprinella by Coburn and Cavender (1992) and in the 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991). Mayden (1989) placed this species in the genus Erimystax but later agreed that it belongs in Cyprinella (see Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Page and Burr (1991, 2011), Etnier and Starnes (1993), and Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) included it in Cyprinella . Broughton and Gold (2000) examined mtDNA variation in Cyprinella and found that this species fell outside of a monophyletic Cyprinella as sister to Hybopsis winchelli. Nelson et al. (2004) followed Mayden et al. (1992) in placing this species in the genus Erimonax.

Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) used the common name "turquoise shiner."

A single hybrid, involving Cyprinella galactura, is known (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). See Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) for a discussion of possible systematic relationships.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 30Nov2011
Global Status Last Changed: 18Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Restricted, reduced range in the Tennessee River drainage in Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina; extirpated in Alabama and Georgia; currently known to be extant in 10 streams; threatened by habitat loss/degradation.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2 (05Dec1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SX), Georgia (SX), North Carolina (S1), Tennessee (S2), Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT, XN: Listed threatened, nonessential experimental population (09Sep1977)
Comments on USESA: Listed Threatened throughout range, except in three areas (Shoal Creek, Lauderdale County, Alabama, and Lawrence County, Tennessee; Tellico River, Tennessee; and French Broad River below Douglas Dam to its confluence with the Holston River, Knox County Tennessee, and in the free-flowing reach of the Holston River below Cherokee Dam to its confluence with the French Broad River) designated as nonessential experimental populations (see USFWS 2002, 2005, 2007).
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast
IUCN Red List Category: NT - Near threatened
American Fisheries Society Status: Threatened (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This once widespread species was historically known from 24 streams in 12 tributaries of the upper and middle Tennessee River system, in Alabama (extirpated; Boschung and Mayden 2004), Georgia (extirpated), North Carolina (Menhinick 1991), Tennessee (Etnier and Starnes 1993), and Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

The species now survives in only five isolated tributary systems: Duck River (B. M. Burr, pers. comm., cited by Boschung and Mayden 2004) and very small segment of the Buffalo River, Lewis County, Tennessee; Emory River system (including the Obed River, Clear Creek, and Daddys Creek), Morgan, Cumberland, and Fentess counties, Tennessee; North Fork Holston River, Hawkins and Sullivan counties, Tennessee, and Scott and Washington counties, Virginia; South Fork Holston River (specifically the Middle Fork; isolated by impoundments), Washington County, Virginia; and Little Tennessee River, Macon and Swain counties, North Carolina (USFWS 1983, 2002; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

Conservation Fisheries, Inc. (CFI), attempted to reintroduce the species into Abrams Creek, but the species did not become established (P. Rakes, pers. comm., 2014). USFWS (2005) announced its intention to reintroduce the spotfin chub in Shoal Creek, Lauderdale County, Alabama, and Lawrence County, Tennessee, as a nonessential experimental population (species was collected in Shoal Creek in 1889). As of 2014, the status of the reintroduced population in Shoal Creek was uncertain (P. Rakes, pers. comm., 2014). USFWS (2002) announced its intention to establish a nonessential experimental population in the Tellico River, upstream from Tellico Reservoir, Monroe County, Tennessee. As of 2014, the species appeared to be successfully reestablished in the Tellico River (P. Rakes, pers. comm., 2014).

USFWS (2007) announced plans to reintroduce E. monachus into probable historical habitat in the free-flowing reach of the French Broad River from below Douglas Dam to its confluence with the Holston River, Knox County, Tennessee, and in the free-flowing reach of the Holston River from below Cherokee Dam to its confluence with the French Broad River. The geographic boundaries of this nonessential experimental population would extend from the base of Douglas Dam (river kilometer 51.7) down the French Broad River, Knox and Sevier Counties, Tennessee, to its confluence with the Holston River and then up the Holston River, Knox, Grainger, and Jefferson counties, Tennessee, to the base of Cherokee Dam (river kilometer 83.7 km) and would include the lower 8 kilometers of all tributaries that enter these river reaches.

As of 2014, CFI was conducitng spotfin chub status surveys in the Nork Fork and Middle Fork Holston rivers (P. Rakes, pers. comm., 2014).

Area of Occupancy: 101-500 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: As of the early 1980s, the species occupied 166 stream kilometers (USFWS 1983, Jenkins and Burkhead 1984). Of this, 72 kilometers were in the lower North Fork Holston River, 60 kilometers were in four major sections of the Emory River system, and 33 kilometers were in the Little Tennessee River (USFWS 1983, Jenkins and Burkhead 1984). Subsequently spotfin chubs were found in a small section of the Middle Fork Holston River, expanding the known range by about 10 river kilometers (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Recent and planned reintroductions may add to this area.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Jenkins and Burkhead (1984, 1994) and Boschung and Mayden (2004) indicated current occupancy of 10 streams, each of which could be regarded as a distinct occurrence, subpopulation, or location.

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown. This species is generally rare or uncommon and usually sharply localized in distribution (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991), though it is not rare in the Emory River system. Small, localized populations are restricted to a small part of any riffle-run sequence (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Survey technique may affect apparent abundance; this fish is not easy to capture with a seine (Etnier and Starnes 1993).

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Range may have been more continuous before extensive deforestation and impoundment (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Causes of decline include siltation, coal sedimentation, pollution, inundation by reservoir development, releases of cold water from reservoirs, stream channelization, and interspecific competition (USFWS 1983; Jenkins and Burkhead 1984); some of these factors affect extant populations (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Collecting may significantly reduce local subpopulations (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely slowly declining.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: Historical range included 12 Tennessee River tributaries; current distribution includes only 5 of those, and the species "tenuously" persists in two of them (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) indicated possible recovery and expansion of area of occupancy with pollution abatement in part of the North Fork Holston River in Virginia.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: See recovery plan (1983).

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) This once widespread species was historically known from 24 streams in 12 tributaries of the upper and middle Tennessee River system, in Alabama (extirpated; Boschung and Mayden 2004), Georgia (extirpated), North Carolina (Menhinick 1991), Tennessee (Etnier and Starnes 1993), and Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

The species now survives in only five isolated tributary systems: Duck River (B. M. Burr, pers. comm., cited by Boschung and Mayden 2004) and very small segment of the Buffalo River, Lewis County, Tennessee; Emory River system (including the Obed River, Clear Creek, and Daddys Creek), Morgan, Cumberland, and Fentess counties, Tennessee; North Fork Holston River, Hawkins and Sullivan counties, Tennessee, and Scott and Washington counties, Virginia; South Fork Holston River (specifically the Middle Fork; isolated by impoundments), Washington County, Virginia; and Little Tennessee River, Macon and Swain counties, North Carolina (USFWS 1983, 2002; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

Conservation Fisheries, Inc. (CFI), attempted to reintroduce the species into Abrams Creek, but the species did not become established (P. Rakes, pers. comm., 2014). USFWS (2005) announced its intention to reintroduce the spotfin chub in Shoal Creek, Lauderdale County, Alabama, and Lawrence County, Tennessee, as a nonessential experimental population (species was collected in Shoal Creek in 1889). As of 2014, the status of the reintroduced population in Shoal Creek was uncertain (P. Rakes, pers. comm., 2014). USFWS (2002) announced its intention to establish a nonessential experimental population in the Tellico River, upstream from Tellico Reservoir, Monroe County, Tennessee. As of 2014, the species appeared to be successfully reestablished in the Tellico River (P. Rakes, pers. comm., 2014).

USFWS (2007) announced plans to reintroduce E. monachus into probable historical habitat in the free-flowing reach of the French Broad River from below Douglas Dam to its confluence with the Holston River, Knox County, Tennessee, and in the free-flowing reach of the Holston River from below Cherokee Dam to its confluence with the French Broad River. The geographic boundaries of this nonessential experimental population would extend from the base of Douglas Dam (river kilometer 51.7) down the French Broad River, Knox and Sevier Counties, Tennessee, to its confluence with the Holston River and then up the Holston River, Knox, Grainger, and Jefferson counties, Tennessee, to the base of Cherokee Dam (river kilometer 83.7 km) and would include the lower 8 kilometers of all tributaries that enter these river reaches.

As of 2014, CFI was conducitng spotfin chub status surveys in the Nork Fork and Middle Fork Holston rivers (P. Rakes, pers. comm., 2014).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALextirpated, GAextirpated, NC, TN, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Colbert (01033)*, Lauderdale (01077)
GA Catoosa (13047)*
NC Buncombe (37021)*, Graham (37075), Macon (37113), Madison (37115)*, Swain (37173)
TN Anderson (47001), Blount (47009), Claiborne (47025)*, Cumberland (47035), Hawkins (47073), Lawrence (47099), Lewis (47101), Monroe (47123), Morgan (47129), Rhea (47143)*, Roane (47145), Sullivan (47163), Union (47173)*
VA Scott (51169), Smyth (51173)*, Washington (51191)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
06 North Fork Holston (06010101)+, South Fork Holston (06010102)+, Holston (06010104)+, Upper French Broad (06010105)+*, Watts Bar Lake (06010201)+, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Tuckasegee (06010203)+*, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+, Upper Clinch (06010205)+*, Powell (06010206)+*, Lower Clinch (06010207)+, Emory (06010208)+, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+*, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+, Buffalo (06040004)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small fish (chub or shiner).
Reproduction Comments: Spawning possibly begins in late May and extends into July or August. Nuptial adults have been taken from mid-May to mid-August, and spawning has been observed at temperatures of 26-27 C (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Females probably produce several clutches of eggs in a single season (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Mature in 2 years (some may spawn at 1 year); lives 3 years at most (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991, Jenkins and Burkhead 1984).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes cool and warm, typically clear, large creeks or medium-sized rivers of moderate gradient, in upland and montane areas, generally in or near moderate and swift currents over gravel to bedrock, rarely over sand or silt (Lee et al. 1980, Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Eggs are laid in stone cracks, crevices, or in the narrow interface of two touching rocks (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) reported breeding sites in moderate current of shallow portions of runs, in areas strewn with unsilted rubble and boulders.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Adults and young eat mainly benthic immature aquatic insects, largely small chironomids and simuliids, plus some mayfly nymphs and caddisfly larvae (Etnier and Starnes 1993; Jenkins and Burkhead 1984, 1994).
Length: 9 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary
Help
Management Requirements: USFWS plans in the late 1980s called for annual restocking over the next several years. See recovery plan (1983).
Monitoring Requirements: Burkhead and Jenkins (1991) recommended that the population in the middle part of the North Fork of the Holston River be monitored to track the recolonization trend.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Small Cyprinids

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat. For some species (e.g., slender chub), an impoundment may constitute a barrier. For others (e.g., flame chub) a stream larger than 4th order may be a barrier.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Data on dispersal and other movements generally are not available. In some species, individuals may migrate variable distances between spawning areas and nonspawning habitats.

Separation distances (in aquatic kilometers) for cyprinids are arbitrary but reflect the presumption that movements and appropriate separation distances generally should increase with fish size. Hence small, medium, and large cyprinids, respectively, have increasingly large separation distances. Separation distance reflects the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of aquatic habitat would represent truly independent populations over the long term.

Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.

Occupied locations that are separated by a gap of 10 km or more of any aquatic habitat that is not known to be occupied represent different occurrences. However, it is important to evaluate seasonal changes in habitat to ensure that an occupied habitat occurrence for a particular population does not artificially separate spawning areas and nonspawning areas as different occurrences simply because there have been no collections/observations in an intervening area that may exceed the separation distance.

Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 04Mar2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson. G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 02Jul2001
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Broughton, R. E., and J. R. Gold. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships in the North American cyprinid genus Cyprinella (Actinopterygii: Cyprinidae) based on sequences of the mitochondrial ND2 and ND4L genes. Copeia 2000:1-10.

  • Burkhead, N. M., and R. E. Jenkins. 1991. Fishes. Pages 321-409 in K. Terwilliger (coordinator). Virginia's Endangered Species: Proceedings of a Symposium. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, Virginia.

  • Coburn, M. M., and T. M. Cavender. 1992. Interrelationships of North American cyprinid fishes. Pages 328-373 in R.L. Mayden, editor. Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. xxvi + 969 pp.

  • Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee. xiv + 681 pp.

  • Jelks, H. L., S. J. Walsh, N. M. Burkhead, S. Contreras-Balderas, E. Díaz-Pardo, D. A. Hendrickson, J. Lyons, N. E. Mandrak, F. McCormick, J. S. Nelson, S. P. Platania, B. A. Porter, C. B. Renaud, J. Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, E. B. Taylor, and M.L. Warren, Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372-407.

  • Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1984. Description, biology and distribution of the spotfin chub, Hybopsis monacha, a threatened cyprinid fish of the Tennessee River drainage. Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History 8:1-30.

  • Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. xxiii + 1079 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Matthews, J.R. and C.J. Moseley (eds.). 1990. The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species of North America. Volume 1. Plants, Mammals. xxiii + pp 1-560 + 33 pp. appendix + 6 pp. glossary + 16 pp. index. Volume 2. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, Mussels, Crustaceans, Snails, Insects, and Arachnids. xiii + pp. 561-1180. Beacham Publications, Inc., Washington, D.C.

  • Mayden, R. L. 1989. Phylogenetic studies of North American minnows, with emphasis on the genus Cyprinella (Teleostei: Cypriniformes). University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Miscellaneous Publication (80):1-189.

  • Mayden, R. L., B. M. Burr, L. M. Page, and R. R. Miller. 1992. The native freshwater fishes of North America. Pages 827-863 in R.L. Mayden, editor. Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. xxvi + 969 pp.

  • Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Rakes, P. L., P. W. Shute, and J. R. Shute. 1998. Captive propagation and population monitoring of rare Southeastern fishes. Final Report for 1997. Field Season and Second Quarter Report for Fiscal Year 1998, prepared for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Contract No. FA-4-10792-5-00. 32 pp.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Schönhuth, S. and R. L. Mayden. 2010. Phylogenetic relationships in the genus Cyprinella (Actinopterygii: Cyprinidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55(2010):77-98.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 13 September 2007. Establishment of nonessential experimental population status for 15 freshwater mussels, 1 freshwater Snail, and 5 fishes in the Lower French Broad River and in the Lower Holston River, Tennessee; final rule. Federal Register 72(177):52434-52461.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1983. Recovery plan for spotfin chub Hybopsis monacha. USFWS, Atlanta, Georgia. 46 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1990. Endangered and threatened species recovery program: report to Congress. 406 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2001. Proposed establishment of nonessential experimental population status for 4 fishes into the Tellico River, from the backwaters of Tellico Reservoir upstream to Tellico River Mile 33, in Monroe County, Tennessee. Federal Register 66:30853-30860.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2002. Establishment of nonessential experimental population status and reintroduction of four fishes in the Tellico River. Federal Register 67(155):52420-52428.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 8 April 2005. Establishment of a nonessential experimental population for two fishes (boulder darter and spotfin chub) in Shoal Creek, Tennessee and Alabama. Federal Register 70(67):17916-17927.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 960 pp.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996a. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996c. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia: Export of freshwater fish and mussel records from the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1997. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

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