Based on the distribution of 2 fish species and geological evidence, we propose stream capture of a Tallapoosa River tributary by Wehadkee Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River in east-central Alabama. Micropterus tallapoosae (Tallapoosa Bass) and Cyprinella gibbsi (Tallapoosa Shiner), endemics to the Tallapoosa River drainage, are found in Wehadkee Creek (Chattahoochee River drainage). We used mitochrondrial DNA to compare the Wehadkee Creek specimens of Tallapoosa Shiner to those analyzed in a previous study of the genetic structure of the species throughout the Tallapoosa River drainage. Their identity as Tallapoosa Shiner was validated, and we found some divergence relative to other populations in the Wehadkee Creek fish. We validated the identity of Tallapoosa Bass and Micropterus chattahoochae (Chattahoochee Bass), using mitochondrial DNA sequences subjected to phylogenetic analyses of all Micropterus coosae (Redeye Bass) group species previously identified. In addition to these fish distributions, the geology of the upper Wehadkee Creek area suggests a past stream capture may have occurred. Alternatively, these fishes could have been introduced into adjoining drainages by humans.
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Vol. 16 • No. 1