Descriptions: Line 4

Sea Catfish ( Arius felis)

The sea catfish, also known as the hardhead catfish, is a wide-ranging species, essentially
occurring in marine and estuarine habitats from Chesapeake Bay to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Sea catfish are also scaleless, possess two pairs of short barbels as well as two
long maxillary barbels, and a forked caudal fin. They are typically steel-blue to
silvery in coloration. They lack nostril barbels, which are present on freshwater
catfish such as blue catfish and brindled madtoms.  Most often, sea catfish are caught
as by-catch as they are not typically targeted by anglers. Sea catfish have an interesting
behavior; males carry fertilized eggs and larvae in their mouth as they develop. Once
they reach a large enough size, the larvae leave the mouth to fend for themselves.
Sea catfish are scavengers, and based on diet studies, eat a wide-range of food items
from algae to fish to invertebrates.


Inland Silverside ( Menidia beryllina)

The inland silverside is common in coastal regions and estuaries, including Lake Pontchartrain.
They also occur in freshwater environments throughout eastern North America and are
known to occur far inland; specimens have been collected as far inland as the Mississippi
River in Missouri and Illinois. Inland silversides are elongate, possess two dorsal
fins, an upturned mouth, and a broad silver lateral stripe. They live near the surface,
often in schools, and feed on zooplankton and small invertebrates. Because they live
near the surface, they are often preyed upon by larger fish and birds.


Atlantic Needlefish ( Strongylura marina)

Atlantic needlefish occur throughout western Atlantic from Maine to Brazil and throughout
the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Atlantic needlefish primarily occur in inshore areas,
shallow coastal waters, and estuaries like Lake Pontchartrain, but can also be found
far inland in freshwater rivers. Atlantic needlefish possess very small scales, elongate
jaws with needle-like teeth, and an upper portion of the body that is greenish while
the venter is white. Although needlefish appear similar to gars (Family Lepisosteidae),they
are not closely related to each other. Needlefish live near the surface, often in
grassy or vegetated shallow areas and attain a maximum size of two feet.


Sheepshead Minnow ( Cyprinodon variegatus)

The sheepshead minnow is neither a sheepshead (drum family) nor a minnow (carp, shiner,
minnow family). In fact, it a member of the pupfish family Cyprinodontidae, and most
species occupy the arid southwest. Sheepshead minnows are robust and small with a
maximum size of only 2 inches. Their bodies are silvery to bluish in color, and the
ventral region is white. The posterior edge of the caudal fin is often bordered by
a wide-dark stripe. Adult males often have an iridescent coloration when viewed from
the shore. The sheepshead minnow occur along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Massachusetts
to Vera Cruz, Mexico. They are very common along the vegetated shorelines of Lake
Pontchartrain. The sheepshead minnow is very tolerant of elevated and diminished salinities.
In Louisiana, they are resident freshwater populations, and in other areas, they occur
in evaporating tide-pools with salinities as high as four times the level of seawater.


Sailfin Molly ( Poecilia latipinna)

The sailfin molly is an attractive species with a unique morphology. As the common
name implies, males possess an enlarged sail-like dorsal fin. Males, like the one
depicted on the poster, possess a body that is bluish to silver in color, with 6-8
rows of dark spots along the side of the body, and a reddish margin on the dorsal
fin.Females lack the large dorsal fin and are less colorful and ornate than males.
The sailfin molly typically occurs in brackish water and is therefore very abundant
near shoreline areas of Lake Pontchartrain. However, it is also very tolerant of freshwater
and permanent resident populations occur throughout its range. Sailfin mollies are
live bearers similar to their distant cousins like mosquitofish and guppies. They
typically have 6-36 offspring per reproductive cycle and are capable of producing
multiple clutches of offspring during their reproductive period (April to September).
Maximum adult size is approximately 4 inches.


Shadow Bass ( Ambloplites ariommus)

The shadow bass, also locally known as the goggle-eye, is a species in the sunfish
family, a group which includes 32 species such as the largemouth bass, bluegill, and
white crappie. The shadow bass is common in small streams and rivers along the Gulf
Coast. It occurs in most streams in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin including the Natalbany,
Tangipahoa, and Tickfaw Rivers. It occurs in the deeper pools of these streams, and
like other species of sunfish, often is associated with woody debris or cover. The
shadow bass is a distinctive species with a dark brown coloration and with 4-5 dark
bands along the side of the body that extend from the dorsal region to the ventral
region. There is also a distinct bar extending posteriorly from the eye. Maximum size
is less than 8 inches, and the angling record for this species is 1.5 pounds.


fishesRead descriptions of each fish in the poster.

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