Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lampreys of Berrien County, Michigan

Although closely related to fish, taxonomists place lampreys (along with hagfishes) in the Agnatha, a superclass of jawless fish of ancient ancestry. Lampreys belong to the Class Cephalaspidomorphi. Based on specimen records and distribution maps, 5 species representing 1 order, 1 family, and 2 genera of lampreys are known from the lakes, rivers, and streams Berrien County or immediately adjacent waters of Lake Michigan. In the list below, an asterisk (*) denotes existence of a voucher specimen (Michigan DNR nd), a plus sign (+) denotes an accepted field identification not supported by voucher specimen (ibid.), a hat (^) denotes reported presence in Berrien County portion of the St. Joseph River and its tributaries based on distribution maps (MDNR 1999a, 1999b, and 1999c [all .pdf]), and an [I] denotes a species established through direct or indirect intervention of humans:

Family Petromyzontidae (Lampreys):
  • Ichthyomyzon castaneus, Chestnut Lamprey*^
  • Ichthyomyzon fossor, Northern Brook Lamprey*^
  • Ichthyomyzon unicuspis, Silver Lamprey*
  • Lampetra appendix, American Brook Lamprey*^
  • Petromyzon marinus, Sea Lamprey+^ [I]

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