Acute Toxicities of Organic Chemicals to Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas) Volume IV
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In this, the fourth volume of acute toxicity data on organic chemicals, we pay tribute to the species which has made this possible. The fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) is well suited to laboratory studies and was chosen for several reasons, including: (1) ease of culturing, (2) widespread occurrence, (3) rapid growth, (4) ecological importance, and (5) mid-range in tolerance for freshwater organisms to environmental pollutants. The cover shows the fathead minnow in its natural habitat. The male, with his nuptial tubercles, is actively tending his nest by agitating the water and grooming the eggs on the underside of a piece of wood. At the right, a female is shown waiting to add to the eggs already in the nest. The fathead minnow is in the Cyprinidae family of modern bony fishes. It is widespread in North America, ranging from the Great Slave Lake and Hudson Bay in Canada in the north to the State of Chihuahua, Mexico in the south, and from the State of Maine in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west (Scott and Crossman 1973). Its presence in the Sacramento Valley in the State of California was indicated by Becker (1983). Several common names have been applied to the species. It has been referred to as northern fathead minnow, blackhead minnow, Tuffy minnow and fathead (Becker 1983, Scott and Crossman 1973). It derives its scientific name from the breeding male having an enlarged blackish head relative to the dark remainder of the body.