An awkward introduction: phylogeography of Notropis lutipinnis in its ‘native’ range and the Little Tennessee River


Dr John Wares, Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, C328 Life Sciences Building, Athens, GA 30602, USA; e-mail:


Abstract –  We evaluate the putative introduction of the yellowfin shiner, Notropis lutipinnis, in the Little Tennessee river basin. This species has only been noted in the Little Tennessee in the past several decades and appears to be expanding its range, even though there have been many potential historical pathways for dispersal from native drainages in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. We use a phylogeographic approach, examining sequence data from one mitochondrial and one nuclear locus, to determine the likely source of the population in the Little Tennessee. Our results suggest a complex history and cannot reject the possibility that N. lutipinnis is native to the Little Tennessee. Our data also indicate that particular drainages, including populations in the Altamaha and Flint Rivers, may be subject to local adaptation at the nuclear transferrin locus.