Skip to content

Kansas School Naturalist


KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - All Small Fish Aren't MinnowsVolume 15, Number 1 - October 1968

All Small Fish Aren't Minnows

 

ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Published by: The Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia

Prepared and Issued by: The Department of Biology,
with the cooperation of the Division of Education

Editor: Robert J. Boles

Editorial Committee: Ina M. Borman, Robert F. Clarke, Gilbert A. Leisman, Bernadette Menhusen, David F. Parmelee, Carl W. Prophet

Online format by: Terri Weast

The Kansas School Naturalist is sent upon request, free of charge, to Kansas teachers, school board members and administrators, librarians, conservationists, youth leaders, and other adults interested in nature education. Back numbers are sent free as long as supply lasts, except Vol. 5, No.3, Poisonous Snakes of Kansas. Copies of this issue may be obtained for 25 cents each postpaid. Send orders to The Kansas School Naturalist, Department of Biology, Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas, 66801.

The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, and April of each year by The Kansas State Teachers College, 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas, 66801. Second-class postage paid at Emporia, Kansas.

"Statement required by the Act of October, 1962: Section 4369, Title 39, United States Code, showing Ownership, Management and Circulation." The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, andApril. Editorial Office and Publication Office at 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas, 66801. The Naturalist is edited and published by the Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas. Editor, John Breukelman, Department of Biology.


All Small Fish Aren't Minnows

A tourist was driving about the country on his vacation, looking for places where men, important figures in the history of our country, had been born and raised. Pulling to a stop in front of a little general store in a small southeastern Arkansas village, he leaned out the window and asked the old-timer who was sitting on
a bench and chewing away on a mouthful of tobacco, "Were there ever any important big men born around here?"

The old-timer chewed a few times, spit, and answered, "Nope! Only babies."

A man well-versed in the outdoors was recently looking at the fishes mounted in our museum. Pointing to a ten-inch yellow or flat-head catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), he turned and said, "Are you sure that is a yellow catfish? I thought they were a large type fish."

Such stories as the above serve to illustrate that many people either (a) don't really mean what they say, or (b) they have preconceived ideas of what size a species of animal should be. There is probably no group of animals for which this is more true than in the case of what people mean when they speak of a "minnow."

Contrary to what many think, all small fishes aren't minnows. In fact, not all minnows, or cyprinids, are small. Some minnows may reach a length of nearly three feet and weigh over fifty pounds. There are a considerable number of other species outside of the minnow family (Cyprinidae) that never attain a length of more than a few inches. Some of these may be found in the same waters from which minnows may be captured, and are often among the "catch" when a minnow seine is drawn through the water and pulled out out onto the bank. Some may even be used as bait by anglers who never realize they are not fishing with minnows.

In this issue of the Kansas School Naturalist the habits, habitats, and characteristics of Some of these small, "non-minnow" fishes will be discussed, so that those of you who may have occasion to observe the fishes of our streams and ponds may more accurately recognize and identify them. Most of these do not make good aquarium fishes, due to rather restricted food, temperature, and oxygen requirements. They may be better observed in their natural habitats.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - Gizzard ShadThe gizzard shad, Dorosomacepedianum, is a freshwater member of the herring family Clupeidae. This family also includes many important marine species, including the true herring.

Shad may be easily recognized by the saw-toothed edge along the ventral side of the belly. They are thin fish with silvery scales and bluish backs. They give no care to their eggs or young. However, such great numbers of eggs are produced that, in spite of this lack of parental interest in the next
generation, shad occur in tremendous numbers in most of our reservoirs.

These fish are able to strain out and utilize many of the minute aquatic organisms as food. As these tiny organisms are among the most abundant forms of life in
the water, most lakes and reservoirs are capable of supporting enormous populations of shad.

Though commonly found in fresh water, shad may enter the brackish or salty waters along coastal areas. They range from Minnesota south into Mexico. They are common in the ox-bow lakes and reservoirs of
Kansas.

Gizzard shad may grow to a size of 18 inches, but most of the shad of inland waters are much smaller. The young, traveling in great schools, are a favorite food of the white bass. Many fishermen locate schools of white bass by watching for the frantic splashing of shad as they strive to escape these voracious predators. Perhaps the greatest value of this fish is as a source of food for many game fishes. Threadfin shad, a smaller species, would be even more valuable as a forage fish, except for its inability to withstand cold temperatures. This limiting factor has restricted its introduction into the waters of this state.

Shad are of no value as live bait, as are many of the minnows, for they die almost immediately upon being handled. Some die, as if from shock, upon being caught in a minnow seine. Great numbers of these fish are used in making of "stink bait," a favorite of the winter catfisherman. Anyone who has used this bait will agree that it has few peers, either in effectiveness or the offensive odor it gives off.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - HogsuckerThe hogsucker, Hypentelium nigricans, belongs to the sucker family, Catostomidae, which is closely allied to the minnow family. In fact, some species of small suckers are readily mistaken for minnows. The flns, like those of most minnows, do not have spines, and the more or less suckerlike protractile mouth is toothless. There are teeth present, but they are found far back in the throat on the last pharyngeal arch, and are numberous and comb-like in appearance, permitting them to feed on small plant and animal organisms and organic debris. The lips are rather thick.

There are no scales on the head, though the body is covered with scales. Hogsuckers, which may reach a length of ten to twelve inches, would probably not be in any great demand as food even if they were larger, as they are extremely bony. The ribs (as well as a set of accessory ribs) run from head to tail. Except for the excessive number of bones, the flesh of most suckers is quite edible.

Suckers are widespread in the United States, and are one of the most important of the forage fishes-that is, they furnish food for our predatory food and game fishes. All are bottom dwellers of our lakes, ponds, and slow streams. They are mostly omnivorous, feeding by suction along the bottom, where they take up both plant and animal matter.

Hogsuckers spawn in the spring, swimming up smaller streams to lay their eggs. Great numbers of eggs are strewn at random along the bottom, and there is no parental care. During spawning season the
males develop tubercules, or little "bumps" on their heads.

Suckers may become obnoxious by overpopulating a body of water, and they are known to eat the spawn of more valuable fishes. Hogsuckers are p robably less plentiful throughout the midwest than in times
past, as they prefer the riffles of clear streams. The erosion that accompanies tilling of the soil has caused many of our streams to become turbid, resulting in an environment unsuitable for this fish.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - MadtomsThe madtoms, Noturus spp., though they never attain a length of more than a few inches, are full-fledged members of the great North American catfish family, Ictaluridae. Catfishes may be found over much of the world, but members of this family are restricted to this continent.

Catfishes may be distinguished by their scaleless bodies, broad flat heads, sharp spines on their pectoral and dorsal fins, and long " whiskers" about their mouths. A little fatty or adipose fin is present back of the dorsal fin.

When the pioneers came to America, members of this fish family were found only east of the Rocky Mountains, but now the larger species have been widely introduced into the western states. Catfishes are desirable food fishes, though the small size of the madtom makes it relatively free from man's use as food.

The spines of catfish are supplied with venom glands, and anyone handling them will probably sooner or later receive a rather painful "sting." The irritating effect of the little madtom's spines is one of the most painful inflicted by catfishes.

Madtoms feed upon both plant and animal matter. They prefer to live in riffle areas where the water runs over a rocky or gravelly bottom, where they may be captured in Kansas streams when fishermen are seining minnows in such areas. Being mostly nocturnal, they come out from under the flattened stones under which they hide during the day and feed during the night hours. The barbels, or "whiskers," which
are highly sensitive to odors in the water, are used to help them locate their food.

They are a nesting fish, spawning in the spring or early summer. Some sort of a depression or cavity, such as an old bucket or muskrat hole or under a flat stone, is chosen as the place in which to deposit their eggs. Soon after the eggs are laid, the female swims away, leaving the male to assume the duties of caring for the eggs. He also guards the young catfish for a week or more after hatching.

In spite of its venomous spines, the madtom is fed upon by larger predators, and may at times be used as bait by fishermen fishing for bass and the madtom's larger relatives. such as the flathead catfish. One biologist reported having found the spine of a madtom imbedded in the flesh of a largemouth bass. Evidently the spine of a madtom upon which the bass had dined had worked its way through the stomach wall and out into the body muscles. He said the bass showed no apparent ill effects from the embedded spine.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - Killifishes and TopminnowsThe killifishes and topminnows are small, soft-rayed fishes in the family Cyprinodontidae, a family which closely related to the livebearers. Unlike the livebearers, which will be discussed next, killifishes and topminnows lay eggs rather then give birth to their young. The blackstripe topminnow, Fundulus olivaceus, reaches a length of only 3 1/ 2 inches. Though they resemble true minnows, they may be distinguished from members of this family by the lack of a lateral line and the presence of scales on the head. Members of this family may be found in both fresh and salt waters. Killifishes come in a variety of shapes, from deep-bodied to quite slender. Most are markedly barred and striped. In many species there are strong differences in color and markings between the males and the females.

The head is flattened and the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper, giving them an up-tilted mouth. This makes it easier for them to feed from the surface. Their food consists of tiny crustaceans and other small aquatic organisms. Most of them live in shallow water and may be seen traveling in schools on or near the surface, where they capture most of their food.

Several species have become isolated in springs in the deserts of Southwestern United States. Living in such specialized situations, some have become highly modified, such as the species that have their pelvic fins reduced or miSSing. In a few places only a small number of individuals of these specialized fishes are alive today, and are in danger of extinction.

Members of this family are utilized to some extent as " bait minnows" by fishermen. One of the most often used is a little marine species called by the interesting name Mummichog. All have value as forage fishes upon which our gamefishes feed. Considerable numbers of mosquito larvae and pupae are also included in their diets.

There are a rather common fish in some of our Kansas streams.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - The Livebearers - PoecilidaeUnlike most fishes, members of this family do not lay eggs, but give birth to their young. All members of this family are
small fishes. Perhaps the best known is the guppy, grown by thousands of aquarists. Females with young become quite enlarged, while the smaller and more slender males may be recognized by the elongated anal fin. Males in some species may be brilliantly colored.

Livebearers are found only in the Americas, ranging from the upper Mississippi Valley to Argentina in South America. There
are many species in Mexico and Central America.

A female mosquito fish, Gambusia, may have four broods or more of young in a single season. The number varies with the
size of the female. Examination of females with young has shown from eight to over found north as far as southern Canada.

Gambusia have a short life span. Although they may live for two years, they usually die the same summer in which they have reached sexual maturity. Females are
hardier and live longer than males.

The mosquito fish has been transplanted far outside its normal range for use in the control of the disease-spreading mosquito, especially those species transmitting malaria. Mosquito larvae ("wrigglers") suspend themselves from the surface film of the water and may be readily captured by the top-feeding Gambusia. Originally a southern fish, the mosquito fish has proven to be quite adaptable, and now may be found north as far as sourthern Canada. Large numbers live in Lake Wooster, on the Kansas State Teachers College campus.

The fish are able to tolerate conditions that would be lethal to most other fishes. As they swim about just under the surface film, they may survive in water in which the dissolved oxygen is far below that required
for even a carp or bullhead catfish. In one poisoning operation to remove the fish populations from a pond, Gambusia were seen swimming about, apparently undistressed, long after all other fishes had died from the fish toxicant.

Though the small size and hardiness of the females would appear to make them desirable as bait "Minnows," they are seldom used by anglers. There seems to be no good reason why they couldn't be used as live bait, unless their soft bodies would make it too easy for the game fishes to knock them off the hook.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - Brook SticklebackThe brook stickleback, Culaea inconstans, (family Gasterosteidae) may be found in the United States from Montana south to Kansas. As yet, however, it has not been reported from Kansas waters, though it may occur in the Missouri River which borders on this state. It never enters salt water, but may be common in boggy lakes and streams.

The fish are small, with streamlined bodies. They are characterized by a series of free dorsal spines in front of the soft dorsal fin.

In the spring sticklebacks construct an elaborate nest which somewhat resembles that of an oriole. The nest, about the size of a golf ball, is composed of grasses or fibers cemented .together by secretions of
the male. Unlike those of other species, the female usually lays fewer than a hundred eggs, which are carefully and jealously guarded by the male. Sticklebacks do not hesitate to attack fishes many times their
size, should they come too close to their nests.

Because of their limited distribution and relatively small numbers, sticklebacks are of little economic importance. They are predaceous, feeding upon small or minute water animals.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - Pigmy SunfishFull-grown pigmy sunfish, Elassoma spp., are not over one and one-half inches long. They are a southern fish, living in the swamps of Florida and southern Georgia north to southern Illinois and Texas. They have been included in this discussion
because the readers will be familiar with their very common cousins, green sunfish, bluegill, bass and crappie.

Most of the other members of this family (Centrarchidae) grow to be much larger than the pigmy sunfish. Some, such as the
largemouth bass, may exceed ten pounds in weight.

Sunfishes are nesting fishes. The male scoops out a depression in which one or more females lay eggs. The males guard the eggs and newly hatched young. Such great numbers of young fishes may be produced that the sunfish population of a pond may be badly stunted. Though never getting much more than "minnow size," some of our Kansas sunfishes may become sexually mature, nest, and produce added mouths to feed in an already over-crowded environment. These fish may then stay small, but relatively healthy, for years. Unlike humans that have been stunted during childhood, stunted fishes, when removed to uncrowded conditons and a plentiful food supply, will promptly resume growth and, in the case of the large species, may reach a desirable size for the angler.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - Logperch and DartersThe logperch, Percina caproides, belongs to the important freshwater fish family Percidae. Members of this family are characterized by a dorsal fin which is completly divided into a spiny and a separate softrayed portion. The anal fin bears one or two spines.

In addition to the logperch, which does not exceed six inches in length, the perch family also includes the walleye (sometimes erroneously called a pike), a large voraceous game fish (up to 25 pounds), and the tiny, often brilliantly-colored, darters. The least darter is one of our smallest fishes, maturing sexually at about one inch.

The logperch, walleye, and some darters deposit their eggs at random in the water, while others, such as the rainbow darter, cover their eggs with gravel or sand and then desert them. Some, such as the Johnny
darter, place their eggs on the underside of objects where they are cared for and courageously guarded by the tiny male. In many of the darters, the males assume brilliant colors in the spawning season. Most darters are stream dwellers.

All members of this family are carnivorous and as young fish feed mostly upon small or misroscopic organisms. As they become larger, many other kinds of invertebrates are eaten. Walleye eat many other
fishes, but, due to their small size, logperch and darters must confine most of their diet to invertebrate organisms.

Darters and logperch may be collected by seining along riffles of clear, cool streams. Darters have no swim or air bladder, as do most other fishes. Without this hydrostatic organ they must rest upon the bottom. They do not make good aquarium fishes, unless the water is kept clear and provisions are made for aerating the water.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - Banded SculpinThe banded sculpin, Cottus carolinae, is the only member of the family Cottidae to occur in Kansas. They like cool, clear water, so they are restricted to a few streams in the southeastern part of our state.

Most members of the family are primarily marine. Only the genus Cottus is restricted exclusively to fresh water. In the Great Lakes sculpins are sometimes called "muddlers." The freshwater forms are quite peculiar in appearance. The head is large and flat and the body rather slender. The eyes are close together and located on the upper surface of the head. The pectoral fins are mucb enlarged. Sculpins have no scales,
but may be covered by tiny prickles. Sometimes their names are not much more attractive than their appearance, such as the spoonhead sculpin and the eastern slimy sculpin.

Banded sculpins are bottom fishes, hiding under rocks and over-hanging banks during the day, usually in rather swift water. They feed upon almost any aquatic organism they can get into their large mouths, including small fishes. Small amounts of algae may also be eaten. Trout-stream sculpins are accused of eating trout eggs and young. However, most of the trout eggs consumed may be loose ones that fail to become buried in the nests.

In the spring the eggs are attached in clusters, usually on the underside of stones. The male drives the female into the nest to spawn, and then guards the eggs.

Sculpins are sometimes used for bait by fishermen.

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - Brook SilversidesThis little fish, Labidesthes sicculus, (family Atherinidae) is sometimes called the skipjack or glassfish. It is slender, streamlined, and a transparent greenish color. There is a prominent silver band along the side of the body, with a dark streak just above it. The jaws are prolonged into a slender beak. The first dorsal fin is small with weak spines. The second is larger, with one spine and several rays. The eyes are
large. Silversides grow to a length of three or four inches.

Silversides live only in fresh waters, and may be found from Minnesota and Michigan southward to the Gulf States. In Kansas they are confined to the southeastern
portion of the state. The family of fishes to which it belongs, Atherinidae, is essentially marine.

Silversides like company, and gather in large schools, feeding near the surface. When the school is suddenly frightened, they scatter in all directions. They frequently leap out of the water and through the air
in a low graceful arch, sometimes for a distance of up to ten times their length. It is this action that gives rise to the name "skipjack." The skipping sometimes appears for no apparent reason, as though the fish are at play. The habit may also be valuable in feeding and escaping, and appears to be a part of the breeding behavior.

At night the adult fish may be found lying quietly up against the surface of the water, as if asleep. II the moon is two-thirds or more full, silversides seem to go crazy. They dash rapidly here and there, leap out of the water again and again and bump into each other. If the sky becomes cloudy and the moon hidden, the fish immediately quiet down.

The fish normally spawn during May and June. The eggs, which are adhesive, stick to the first object with which they come in contact after being released by the female, and usually hatch in about eight days. The newly-hatched young are nearly transparent, making it difficult for their enemies to detect them.

Their food consists of tiny water animals. Following hatching, the fish grow rapidly, and die at the age of fifteen or eighteen months. Thus this fish has an annual life cycle, breeding but once at the age of one year, then dying and leaving their young as the only link over winter connecting the generation of one year with that of the next.

Silversides are attacked by bass, gar, and other carnivorous fishes. Coots, mergansers, and kingfisher also take their toll. In this way they serve a useful purpose in furnishing food for larger animals in our streams and lakes.

These are but a few of the fishes of the world that must, due to the size limitation placed upon them by the genes inherited from their ancestors, remain "minnow" size, even though they may be far removed in their relationship to the true minnows. So, before you automatically lump all small fishes together as minnow, just remember-all small fishes aren't minnows!

SELECTED REFERENCES

Beckman, William C. 1963. Guide to the Fishes of Colorado. University of Colorado Museum. Boulder, Colorado.

Breukelman, John. 1965. What Have I Caught? Forestry, Fish and Game Commission. Pratt, Kansas.

Cress, Frank B. 1967. Handbook of Fishes of Kansas. Miscellaneous Publication No. 45. Museum of Natural History. University of Kansas. Lawrence, Kansas.

Dolan, Tom. 1960. Sports Afield Collection of Know Your Fish. The Hearst Corporation. Sports Afield. 250 West 55th Street. New York, 19, New York.

Eddy, Samuel. 1957. How to Know the Freshwater Fishes. William C. Brown Company. Dubuque, Iowa.

Herald, Earl S. 1961. Living Fishes of the World. Doubleday and Company, Incorporated. Garden City, New York.

Hubbs, Carl L., and Karl F. Lagler. 1958, Revised Edition. Fishes of the Great Lakes Region. Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 26. Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Needham, James G., and Paul R. Needham. 1962. A Guide to the Study of Fresh-Water Biology. Holden-Day, Incorporated. San Francisco, California.

AND NOW TO TEST YOURSELF ...

KSN - Vol 15, No 1 - test

Below you will find a list of the common names of the fishes discussed in this issue of the Naturalist. An outline picture of each fish is above. See how many you can recognize. For those of you who pride yourselves upon remembering the more difficult names, or if you have some additional background in the subject, a list of the scientific names and the families to which the fishes belong appears to the right of the common names. Check your answers by referring to the discussion of each fish in the paper.

____ banded sculpin ____ Cottus carolinae ____ Atherinidae
____ blackstrip topminnow ____ Culaea inconstans ____ Catostomidae
____ brook stickleback ____ Dorosoma cepedianum ____ Centrarchidae
____ brook silverside ____ Elassoma sp. ____ Cottidae
____ gizzard shad ____ Fundulus olivaceus ____ Clupeidae
____ hogsucker ____ Gambusia ____ Cyprinodontidae
____ logperch ____ Hypentilium nigricans ____ Gasterosteidae
____ madtom ____ Labidesthes sicculus ____ Ictaluridae
____ mosquito fish ____ Noturus sp. ____ Percidae
____ pigmy sunfish ____ Percina caproides ____ Poeciliidae


PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Dr. John Brukelman, who did an outstanding job as editor of The Kansas School Naturalist during the first 14 years of its existence, would be among the first to admit that it is only through the efforts and cooperation of many people that the many editions, covering a wide selection of topics, can be prepared.

Some of the issues planned for the future, and their authors, are given below. These are only tentative
and subject to change, depending upon teaching schedules, research activities, and many other commitments and duties.

Dr. Don Ahshapanek will call upon his rich heritage as an original American and prepare a series of issues dealing with the American Indian and the Indian's uses and relationships with the plants and animals of the plains. He also plans an issue on "Topical Philately," based upon his hobby of collecting interesting
stamps of the world depicting beautiful and unusual plants and animals.

Dr. Robert Clarke, the KSTC herpetologist and an excellent artist, has a number of possible issues in mind, such as "Salamanders of Kansas,""Frogs and Toads of Kansas," "Snake Stories - Fact or Fancy?", and "Lizard Behavior." In the field of his second interest, paleontology, he is planning an issue on the fossil vertebrates of Kansas.

Dr. Harold Durst is a specialist in science education with a broad background in public school teaching. He is planning two issues, "Suggested Problems for Research" and "How to do a Research Problem." Another possible issue that would no doubt have much value to the teacher would be "Maintaining Plants and Animals in the Classroom."

Several issues have been devoted to that great group of invertebrates, the insects. Dr. Thomas Eddy, an entomologist, plans to prepare another issue in this series in which he introduces the readers to that interesting, and important, group of insects, the ants.

Dr. Richard Keeling is a mycologist, or fungus specialist. He plans to prepare what should be a very interesting and informative issue on aquatic fungi, with suggestions for classroom study.

Genetics is a fascinating subject, and Dr. Michael LeFever will make it possible for the science teacher to involve his students in the study of this subject with his issue, "Genetics Exercises for School Use."

Almost everyone has visited a museum and wondered how it is possible to draw or describe an organism that has been dead for so many years. Dr. Gilbert Leisman's interest is in the plantforms that lived in Kansas several hundred million years ago. In "The Coal Ball Story" he will explain the ingenious and fascinating methods that are used in the laboratory to piece together the bits of evidence left by these long-extinct organisms.

Dr. Bernadette Menhusen's primary interest is in botany. She also has had considerable experience in the elementary schools. A lady of many ideas, she has several issues in mind, including "Mosses," "Algae," "Sunflowers, " "Christmas Plants," and, in cooperation with Miss Ina Mae Borman, the KSTC Elementary
Science Supervisor, a new issue in the series on "Science Equipment."

A veteran of numerous trips to the far north, an excellent artist and photographer, Dr. David Parmelee has prepared several issues of the Naturalist in the past about his favorite subject, birds. One of the issues he has in mind is about our Kansas waterfowl.

Dr. Carl Prophet is a limnologist interested in both water problems and invertebrates. Author of several previous issues, he will write a timely paper to help alert the public of our endangered water supply. He also
hopes to write a Naturalist about one of his special interests, the microcrustaceans.

Another limnologist on the biology staff, and a former "Outstanding Biology Teacher of Kansas" award recipient, Dr. John Ransom, is planning an issue to be concerned with limnological problems and exercises that are suitable for use in the school laboratory. Such an issue, written by an excellent teacher with a
great deal of experience working with boys and girls, should be of considerable use and value to the science teacher.

No Naturalist has been written about the field of physiology. Dr. Edward Rowe, a physiologist, will write an issue giving physiology exercises and possible research problems for use in the science classroom.

Though mammals have been mentioned in a number of issues of the Naturalist, none has been devoted exclusively to this important group of animals. Dr. Dwight Spencer, a mammalogist, is planning a series to include such topics as "The Woodrat," "Kansas Rodents," "The Coyote," and "Furbearers of Kansas."

None of us, no matter how clean we think we are, can escape contact with bacteria and viruses. Dr. Helen McElree and Dr. Arlene Ulrich, bacteriologists, will work on a series to acquaint the reader with the important, and interesting, world of these microscopic and submicroscopic forms. Not only will the term "germ" take
on new meaning, you will also find their suggested activities with bacteria exciting and informative for use in the science classroom.

Our new departmental head, Dr. Ed Kurtz, has a special interest in the teaching of elementary science. You will find the issue he is planning on modern science teaching informative and thought-provoking.

Anyone who has fought the weeds in their yards and gardens will admit that they are a tough advisary. However, most of you may not realize that these weeds are perhaps even rougher on each other than they are on you. Dr. Robert Parenti will write a Naturalist in which he introduces you to this battle among the plants. You will enjoy his issue on "Plant Chemical Warfare." So that you will be able to recognize the weeds that you are fighting and that are waging warfare among themselves, Dr. James Wilson will write a Naturalist on "Weeds of Kansas."

Many thousands of people die each year because of protein deficiency. The role that proteins play in the maintenance of a healthy body will be discussed in Dr. Gaylen Neufeld's "Proteins and Life."

The above topics are but a few that are being planned as future issues of The Kansas School Naturalist. The Editor would be glad to receive letters from our readers with suggestions as to topics that might be suitable for other issues. Perhaps you, or some of your students, may wish to submit a manuscript for consideration.

COPIES OUT OF PRINT

Many requests are received for copies that are no longer in print. In such cases it has been necessary
to inform the individual that we would be unable to honor their request.

We are, however, going to try on an experimental basis to supply xeroxed copies of out-of-print issues. We have estimated that the cost of the paper, use of the xerox machine, handling, and postage, will be approximately one dollar. Should you have need for one of the issues that is no longer in print, send your dollar to The Kansas School Naturalist and we will mail your xeroxed copy of that issue.


The Kansas School Naturalist Department of Biology 
  College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 
Send questions / comments to
Kansas School Naturalist.
 Emporia State University