Biologists have discovered a new fish species in Tennessee streams.
WKRN reports that the Tennessee Valley Authority has discovered a new species of fish living in Duck River tributary streams. The Percina apina was named after the clean, clear waters that it inhabits in central Tennessee.
According to the TVA, the logperch species needs the silt-free substrates to hunt insect larvae. The silt-free streams of the Duck River allow the fish to thrive. The Tennessee logperch, as it’s commonly called, feeds primarily on blackfly, caddisfly, mayfly, and stonefly larvae.
According to WKRN, the TVA says the discovery of the fish shows the work to improve the water quality of the Tennessee River watershed is paying off. The TVA continues to monitor over 700 sites for water quality throughout Tennessee.
The fish can grow up to be 6 inches long and has flattened splotches on it. TVA aquatic biologist Jeff Simmons and Yale Professor Tom Near said the splotches indicated this was a new species. Officials discovered the Tennessee logperch while studying the closely related blotchside logperch. The blotchside is also a rare species which no one had seen in the area since 1890.
This discovery just shows the importance of paying attention to existing species. There is more diversity in existing species than most people realize.