Monday, September 28, 2009

Petition To List Three Species of Lampreys as Threatened or Endangered

"The petitioned lampreys belong to the genus Lampetra in the family Petromyzontidae and subfamily Petromyzontinae, a primitive group of fishes that are eellike in form but lack the jaws and paired fins. These species have a round suckerlike mouth (oral disc), no scales, and breathing holes instead of gills. Most lamprey species have a similar life cycle: all begin life in freshwater, but some are anadromous (going from ocean to freshwater tributaries to spawn). In the beginning of their life cycle, the lamprey eggs hatch and the young ammocoetes (larvae) drift downstream to areas of low velocity and silt or sand substrate. They remain burrowed in the stream bottom, living as filter feeders for 2 to 7 years, filterfeeding on algae and detritus.

Pacific lampreys have been documented in the Pajaro, Santa Maria, Ventura, Carmel, and Big Sur Rivers..."
From: Federal Register: December 27, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 247)
Picture from: Klamath Resource Information System

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