Southern brook lampreys have bodies shaped like eels. They have a fin along the top divided in two parts. Their mouth is a circle of teeth adapted for sucking that tells them apart from northern brook lampreys. They are light brown or green on their back and lighter yellow or white on their stomach. Their fins are lighter in color, too. Their larvae have no eyes and their mouths are shaped like a hood. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011; Hammerson, 2010; Mettee, et al., 2008; Rainer, 2010)
Southern brook lampreys are found in the Mississippi River basin, rivers that drain into the Tennessee River, and rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. They live in freshwater streams. They are usually found in smaller streams as larvae and larger streams as adults. They like shallow water. They need a gravel or small rock river bottoms where they attach and later spawn. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011; "Mississippi River Resource Page", 2011)
Southern brook lampreys using live in quickly-moving water, but the larvae live in streams where the water moves more slowly. Southern brook lampreys are usually found in smaller rivers and tributaries. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011; "Mississippi River Resource Page", 2011)
Southern brook lampreys spend most of their lives as larvae, which are called ammocoetes. The larvae bury themselves in sandy river bottoms and eat floating bacteria and algae. They are usually larvae for 3 to 4 years. It takes them 2 to 3 months to transform into adults. During this time, they migrate to faster parts of the stream. In the spring, adults attach themselves to the gravel bottom where they lay their eggs. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011; Beamish and Thomas, 1984; Cochran and Pettinelli, 1987; Cochran, 1987)
The eggs take about 2 to 3 weeks to hatch. Then, southern brook lampreys spend 3 to 4 years as larvae. For 2 to 3 months in the late summer or early fall, the larvae transform into adults. Females release 1000 to 2000 eggs, and the males fertilize the eggs. Adults die a few days after females lay eggs. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011; Beamish and Thomas, 1984; Cochran and Pettinelli, 1987; Hassan-Williams and Bonner, 2007; Rainer, 2010)
Southern brook lampreys live 2 to 3 weeks as eggs, larvae for 3 to 4 years, and adults for 2 to 26 days. They are hard to raise in captivity. (Beamish and Thomas, 1984; Hassan-Williams and Bonner, 2007; Mettee, et al., 2008; Rainer, 2010)
Adult southern brook lampreys have just a few days to reproduce and build a nest for their offspring. They form groups of 20 to 40 adults to release and fertilize their eggs. Adults may work together to build nests. (Cochran and Pettinelli, 1987; Cochran, 1987; Mettee, et al., 2008)
Southern brook lampreys mostly communicate and understand their environment using their senses of sight and touch. Only adults have fully working eyes. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011)
Southern brook lampreys are not parasites. The larvae eat algae and other bacteria floating near the spot they are stuck in the sand or gravel. Adult southern brook lampreys stay alive using energy they store when they are larvae, so they don't eat anything. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011; Hassan-Williams and Bonner, 2007; Mettee, et al., 2008; Rainer, 2010)
Southern brook lamprey larvae burrow into sand or loose gravel, so they are difficult for predators to find. Adults attach themselves to rocks in swift-moving waters, and are also hard to find because they have camouflage coloring. They are eaten by northern pike, perch, and European chub. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011; Hammerson, 2010)
The larval phase is the only phase that eats and filter feeds on nutrients from algae and bacteria. Southern brook lampreys are not predators. ("Ichthyomyzon gagei", 2011; Mettee, et al., 2008; Rainer, 2010)
There are no known negative economic effects on humans caused by southern brook lampreys.
Southern brook lampreys are not threatened or endangered.
ryan oldsberg (author), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Renee Mulcrone (editor), Special Projects, Catherine Kent (editor), Special Projects.
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.
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
an animal that mainly eats decomposed plants and/or animals
particles of organic material from dead and decomposing organisms. Detritus is the result of the activity of decomposers (organisms that decompose organic material).
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
union of egg and spermatozoan
a method of feeding where small food particles are filtered from the surrounding water by various mechanisms. Used mainly by aquatic invertebrates, especially plankton, but also by baleen whales.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
animals that have little or no ability to regulate their body temperature, body temperatures fluctuate with the temperature of their environment, often referred to as 'cold-blooded'.
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
breeding is confined to a particular season
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).
uses sight to communicate
2011. "Ichthyomyzon gagei" (On-line). Accessed April 21, 2011 at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=AFBAA01040.
2011. "Mississippi River Resource Page" (On-line). Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://www.mississippiriverresource.com/River/RiverFacts.php.
Beamish, F., E. Thomas. 1984. Metamorphosis of the southern brook lamprey, Ichthyomyzon gagei. Copeia, 1984 (2): 502-515. Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/1445205.
Cochran, P. 1987. The southern brook lamprey (Ichthyomyzon gagei) in the St. Croix River drainage of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Copeia, 1987/2: 443-446. Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/1445782.
Cochran, P., T. Pettinelli. 1987. "Northern and southern brook lampreys in Minnesota" (On-line pdf). Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/projects/consgrant_reports/1987/1987_cochran.pdf.
Hammerson, G. 2010. "Ichthyomyzon gagei" (On-line). NatureServe Explorer. Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?sourceTemplate=tabular_report.wmt&loadTemplate=species_RptComprehensive.wmt&selectedReport=RptComprehensive.wmt&summaryView=tabular_report.wmt&elKey=102239&paging=home&save=true&startIndex=1&nextStartIndex=1&reset=false&offPageSelectedElKey=102239&offPageSelectedElType=species&offPageYesNo=true&post_processes=&radiobutton=radiobutton&selectedIndexes=102239+gage.
Hassan-Williams, C., T. Bonner. 2007. "Ichthyomyzon gagei" (On-line). Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://www.bio.txstate.edu/~tbonner/txfishes/ichthyomyzon%20gagei.htm.
Mettee, M., P. O'Neil, J. Pierson. 2008. "Southern Brook Lamprey" (On-line). Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/fish/other/lamprey/so/.
Rainer, F. 2010. "Southern brook lamprey" (On-line). Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=2517.