Quick Guide to the redeye chub Notropis harperi:

Type of Animal: Fish

Type of cave dweller: Trogloxene, a cave visitor

Distribution: Springs and spring runs along the Altamaha River, Georgia, the Escambia River in Alabama as far south in Florida to the St. Johns and Withlacoochee River.

Conservation Status: Abundant

The red eye chub is a small fish (1-2 inches) with a small barbel in each corner of the mouth and, as its names suggests, a bright red eye. A dark band encircles the snout and runs along both sides of the body to a black caudal spot.

Their small size makes them an easy target for larger fish, so they usually travel in schools, and rarely venture very far out from cover. They mainly eat drifting insects, crustaceans and smaller fish.

The redeye chub ranges from east of the St. Johns River in Florida as far north as Georgia. They are very common in springs and spring runs, and with increasing frequency in caves and sinkholes.

Recently the redeye chub has been linked to the decimation of the squirrel chimney cave shrimp, Palaemonetes cummingi. The squirrel chimney cave shrimp is/was an endemic species, found only at one location: Squirrel Chimney, in Alachua County, Florida. The last specimens were spotted in this location in the mid 1970s. Around this time, redeye chubs managed to invade this endemic site and soon after the squirrel chimney cave shrimp population disappeared. It is not known whether redeye chubs entered Squirrel Chimney by anthropogenic introduction or natural colonization.