Thoburnia atripinnis - (Bailey, 1959)
Blackfin Sucker
Synonym(s): Moxostoma atripinne
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Thoburnia atripinnis (Bailey, 1959) (TSN 201955)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.106189
Element Code: AFCJC13010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Suckers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Catostomidae Thoburnia
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: 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.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Thoburnia atripinnis
Taxonomic Comments: This species was included in the genus Thoburnia by Smith (1992) and Page and Burr (1991). Formerly, Thoburnia was regarded as a subgenus of the genus Moxostoma. See Smith (1992) for a study of the phylogeny and biogeography of the Catostomidae.
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 03Aug2012
Global Status Last Changed: 08May2009
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Locally common in upper Barren River system, Kentucky and Tennessee; major threats include siltation and stream eutrophication due to agricultural runoff; possibly stable, but better information on trend is needed.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (03Aug2012)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Kentucky (S2), Tennessee (S2)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
American Fisheries Society Status: Vulnerable (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 250-1000 square km (about 100-400 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes the upper Barren River system (Green River drainage), north-central Tennessee and south-central Kentucky (Page and Burr 2011). Tennessee distribution includes Long and Salt Lick creeks, Macon County, and the Big Trace Creek System, Clay County. There is also a record from the main channel of the Cumberland River in Summer County from 1982, which is probably the result of a bait-bucket introduction. Currently, the species does not appear to be present in the Drakes Creek system in Sumner County, Tennessee, or in the lower reaches in Kentucky (see Shute et al., in press).

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a moderate number of occurrences (subpopulations) and locations (more than 10, as defined by IUCN). Timmons and Ramsey (in Lee et al. 1980) mapped 17 collection sites in Kentucky and Tennessee. These represent at least several distinct occurrences (subpopulations). Etnier and Starnes (1993) mapped 9 collection sites in Tennessee. Burr and Warren (1986) mapped 14 collection sites in Kentucky.

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown. This species is regarded as locally common in its small range (Burr and Warren 1986; Page and Burr 1991, 2011).

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Fishes of the upper Barren River system do not appear to be under immediate threat, but their restricted distribution is cause for concern (Etnier and Starnes 1993). Major threats include siltation and stream eutrophication due to agricultural runoff (D. Etnier, pers. comm., 1997; Shute et al., in press). Another potential threat is stream channelization (Shute et al., in press). This species is regarded as moderately threatened in Kentucky (R. Cicerello, pers. comm., 1997).

Jelks et al. (2008) categorized this species as Vulnerable due to (1) present or threatened destruction, modification, or reduction of habitat or range and (2) restricted range.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend in Tennessee is unknown (P. Shute, pers. comm., 1997). Possibly stable in Kentucky, but no current population information to assess trends (R. Cicerello, pers. comm., 1997). No major stream changes in recent years, probably stable but status unknown (D. Etnier, pers. comm., 1997).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Better information is needed on current distribution, abundance, and trend.

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (250-1000 square km (about 100-400 square miles)) Range includes the upper Barren River system (Green River drainage), north-central Tennessee and south-central Kentucky (Page and Burr 2011). Tennessee distribution includes Long and Salt Lick creeks, Macon County, and the Big Trace Creek System, Clay County. There is also a record from the main channel of the Cumberland River in Summer County from 1982, which is probably the result of a bait-bucket introduction. Currently, the species does not appear to be present in the Drakes Creek system in Sumner County, Tennessee, or in the lower reaches in Kentucky (see Shute et al., in press).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States KY, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
KY Allen (21003)*, Barren (21009), Metcalfe (21169), Monroe (21171)
TN Clay (47027), Macon (47111), Sumner (47165)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Barren (05110002)+, Lower Cumberland-Old Hickory Lake (05130201)+
+ 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
Help
Basic Description: A small fish (sucker).
Reproduction Comments: Spawns in mid-spring.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Blackfin suckers are common but often localized in quiet or gently flowing pools with scattered slabrocks and undercut banks in creeks and small rivers with warm clear water, moderate current, gravel to rubble bottom, and alternating pools and riffles; they may seek shelter along shorelines with overhanging brush, near boulders, or in rock crevices or under slabrocks (Timmons and Ramsey, in Lee et al. 1980; Burr and Warren 1986; Etnier and Starnes 1993). Males may gather in riffles several weeks before females are ready to spawn. Spawning occurs in shallow swift water. Young are common in pools 0.3-1.0 meters deep with moderate current, often in schools over fine gravel (Timmons et al. 1983), occasionally in smaller tributaries (Etnier and Starnes 1993).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Juveniles and adults eat primarily chironomid larvae and cladocerans, apparently obtained along quiet stream edges or on pool bottoms (Timmons et al. 1983).
Length: 15 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary
Help
Biological Research Needs: Better information is needed on threats and their impacts.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Small Suckers

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.
Mapping Guidance: It is important to evaluate migrations and seasonal changes in habitat to ensure that spawning areas and nonspawning areas for a single population are not artificially segregated as different occurrences simply because there have been no collections/observations in an intervening area that may exceed the separation distance.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
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 catostomids are arbitrary but reflect the presumption that movements and appropriate separation distances generally should increase with fish size. Hence small, medium, and large catostomids, 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.
Notes: This Specs Group includes catostomids that typically are less than 20 cm in adult standard length.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Aug2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G., and M. K. Clausen
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08May2009
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
  • Burr, B. M., and M. L. Warren, Jr. 1986a. Distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Scientific and Technical Series No. 4, Frankfort, Kentucky. 398 pp.

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

  • Etnier, David A. and Wayne C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 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. 1970. Systematic studies of the catostomid fish tribe Moxostomatini. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. PhD Thesis. 779 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Shute, P. W., D. A. Etnier, C. F. Saylor, and R. D. Bivens. [In press]. Fishes. In Hatcher, et al. (editors). Tennessee's Rare Vertebrate Wildlife. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Smith, G. R. 1992. Phylogeny and biogeography of the Catostomidae, freshwater fishes of North America and Asia. Pages 778-826 in R.L. Mayden, editor. Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. xxvi + 969 pp.

  • Timmons, T. J., J. S. Ramsey, and B. H. Bauer. 1983. Life history and habitat of the blackfin sucker, Moxostoma atripinne (Osteichthyes: Catostomidae). Copeia 1983:538-41.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • 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.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2018.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2018 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.