Learn more about the Ichthyology department.
My research covers a variety of areas, including taxonomy, systematics, ecology, and conservation of fishes, fish parasites (Branchiura, Copepoda and Monogenea), and crayfishes. Zoological Nomenclature (Linnaean -- the best kind) also is a primary interest, and it relates to every other area of biology as well as other fields of study.
Taxonomy of the Branchiura (Crustacea: Argulidae)
I'm working on taxonomy of the genus Argulus and other Branchiura worldwide and preparing descriptions of new species using light and scanning electron microscopy. Using a wider array of characters and gathering data from larger samples of specimens will improve the current situation, which is that fishlice are tough to identify (as is the case with many other invertebrate groups). Argulus ambystoma Poly, 2003 and A. yucatanus Poly, 2005 are recently-described species from México. Read more.
Fish Reproductive Behavior
An unusual and unique method of spawning by the pirate perch, Aphredoderus sayanus, was discovered by J.E. Wetzel and me. Other reproductive behaviors of fishes are under investigation. Read more.
Fringed Darter (Etheostoma crossopterum)
The fringed darter, Etheostoma crossopterum, has been a research subject since 1997 when it was discovered in Illinois (Poly and Wilson, 1998; Poly, 2000, 2003), and additional studies are underway presently. See pictures.
Taxonomy and Biology of Crayfishes
Taxonomic studies of several species of crayfishes of the genus Orconectes are in progress with J.E. Wetzel and J.W. Fetzner, Jr., including descriptions of new species. We have studied or are presently working on Orconectes pardalotus, O. luteus, O. rusticus, O. placidus, and O. indianensis along with other species.
Taxonomy of Monogenea
A new species of the genus Trimusculotrema (Monogenea: Capsalidae) from Hong Kong was described by W.G. Dyer and me in 2002. Read more.
M.S., Southern Illinois University Ph.D. (ABD), Southern Illinois University
B.S., Ohio State University
Chen, X.-Y., W.J. Poly, D. Catania and W.-S. Jiang. 2017. A new species of sisorid catfish of the genus Exostoma from the Salween drainage, Yunnan, China. Zoological Research 38(5): 291–299. [陈小勇, William J. Poly, David Catania, 蒋万胜. 2017. 中国云南怒江水系鰋属鱼类一新种. 动物学研究. 38(5): 291-299. DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.065]
McAllister, C.T., W.J. Poly, D.G. Cloutman, H.W. Robison, and M.K. Hill. 2016. Argulus spp. (Crustacea: Branchiura) on Fishes from Arkansas and Oklahoma: New Geographic Distribution Records. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Sciences 96: 70–72.
Poly, W.J. 2016. Collecting and processing branchiurans. Journal of Crustacean Biology 36(6): 855–859.
Poly, W.J. 2009. Branchiura (Crustacea) of the Gulf of Mexico. Pages 837-840 + pl. 20, fig. a (Chapter 46) in: Darryl L. Felder and David K. Camp (eds.), Gulf of Mexico-Origin, Waters, and Biota: Volume 1, Biodiversity. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas. i-xix + 1-1393 + 32 color pls.
Poly, W.J. 2009. Brimleyana (1979-1998): publication dates of issues and zoological names. Archives of Natural History 36(1): 100-106.
Poly, W.J. 2008. Global diversity of fishlice (Crustacea: Branchiura: Argulidae) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595(1): 209-212.
Poly, W.J. 2006. California's crayfishes. California Coast & Ocean 21(4): 32-33, 37.
McLaughlin, P.A., D.K. Camp, M.V. Angel, E.L. Bousfield, P. Brunel, R.C. Brusca, D. Cadien, A.C. Cohen, K. Conlan, L.G. Eldredge, D.L. Felder, J.W. Goy, T. Haney, B. Hann, R.W. Heard, E.A. Hendrycks, H.H. Hobbs III, J.R. Holsinger, B. Kensley, D.R. Laubitz, S.E. LeCroy, R. Lemaitre, R.F. Maddocks, J.W. Martin, P. Mikkelsen, E. Nelson, W.A. Newman, R.M. Overstreet, W.J. Poly, W.W. Price, J.W. Reid, A. Robertson, D.C. Rogers, A. Ross, M. Schotte, F.R. Schram, C.-T. Shih, L. Watling, G.D.F. Wilson, and D.D. Turgeon. 2005. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: crustaceans. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 31, Bethesda, Maryland. i-xiii + 1-545 pp.
Wetzel, J.E., W.J. Poly, and J.W. Fetzner, Jr. 2005. Orconectes pardalotus, a new species of crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the lower Ohio River with notes on its life history. aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 10(2): 57-72.
Poly, W.J. 2005. Argulus yucatanus n. sp. (Crustacea: Branchiura) parasitic on Cichlasoma urophthalmus from Yucatan, Mexico. Gulf and Caribbean Research 17: 1-13.
Wetzel, J.E., W.J. Poly, and J.W. Fetzner, Jr. 2004. Morphological and genetic comparisons of golden crayfish, Orconectes luteus, and rusty crayfish, O. rusticus, with range corrections in Iowa and Minnesota. Journal of Crustacean Biology 24(4): 603-617.
Parenti, P. and W.J. Poly. 2004. Sparus axilaris Perez 1820, a senior synonym of the axillary sea bream Pagellus acarne (Risso 1827) invalidated by 'reversal of precedence'. Cybium 28(2): 171-173.
Poly, W.J. and J.E. Wetzel. 2004. Vascularization of the second dorsal fin of nuptial male Etheostoma squamiceps (Percidae: Teleostei). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 55: 249-251.
Poly, W.J. and G.S. Proudlove. 2004. Family Amblyopsidae Bonaparte 1846 - cavefishes. California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes No. 25. 7 p.
Poly, W.J. 2004. Family Aphredoderidae Bonaparte 1846 - pirate perches. California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes No. 24. 5 p.
Poly, W.J. 2004. Family Percopsidae Agassiz 1850 - trout perches and sand rollers. California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes No. 23. 5 p.
Poly, W.J. 2004. The scientific names Notropis stramineus (Cope) and N. ludibundus (Girard). American Midland Naturalist 151(1): 164.
Poly, W.J. and A.K. Wilson. 2003. Natural History Notes: Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis (Eastern Garter Snake). Predation. Herpetological Review 34(3): 378.
Poly, W.J. 2003. Review of The fishes of Illinois [2nd printing]. Quarterly Review of Biology 78(2): 246.
Poly, W.J. 2003. Argulus ambystoma, a new species parasitic on the salamander Ambystoma dumerilii from México (Crustacea: Branchiura: Argulidae). Ohio Journal of Science 103(3): 52-61.
Poly, W.J. and J.E. Wetzel. 2003. Distribution and taxonomy of three species of Orconectes (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in Illinois, U.S.A. Journal of Crustacean Biology 23(2): 380-390.
Poly, W.J. and J.E. Wetzel. 2003. Transbranchioral spawning: novel reproductive strategy observed for the pirate perch Aphredoderus sayanus (Aphredoderidae) . Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 14(2): 151-158.
Poly, W.J. 2003. Design and evaluation of a translocation strategy for the fringed darter (Etheostoma crossopterum) in Illinois. Biological Conservation 113(1): 13-22.
Voss, S.C. and W.J. Poly. 2002. First record of a whitefringed beetle, Naupactus leucoloma Boheman, 1840, in Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 95(2): 141-142.
Dyer, W.G. and W.J. Poly. 2002. First record of Rhabdochona cascadilla Wigdor, 1918 (Nematoda: Thelazioidea) in the Blue Sucker, Cycleptus elongatus (Lesueur, 1817), from Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 95(2): 107-109.
Poly, W.J. and C.L. Mah. 2001(2002). New host and distribution records for parasitic copepods in the Northeast Pacific Ocean with a discussion of taxonomy of the genus Acanthochondria. Bulletin of Marine Science 69(3): 1121-1127.
Poly, W.J. and J.E. Wetzel. 2002. The Ohio shrimp, Macrobrachium ohione (Palaemonidae), in the lower Ohio River of Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 95(1): 65-66.
Dyer, W.G. and W.J. Poly. 2002. Trimusculotrema schwartzi n. sp. (Monogenea: Capsalidae) from the skin of the stingray Dasyatis zugei (Elasmobranchii: Dasyatidae) off Hong Kong, China. Systematic Parasitology 51(3): 217-225.
Poly, W.J. 2001. Nontroglobitic fishes in Bruffey-Hills Creek Cave, West Virginia, and other caves worldwide. Environmental Biology of Fishes 62(1-3): 73-83.
Poly, W.J. 2001. Distribution of the Alligator Gar, Atractosteus spatula (Lacépède, 1803), in Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 94(3): 185-190.
Poly, W.J. and J.E. Wetzel. 2001. Geographic Distribution: Necturus maculosus (Mudpuppy). Herpetological Review 32(2): 111.
Poly, W.J. 2000. Nest substrates and spawning time of Etheostoma crossopterum in southern Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 93(4): 301-305.
Wetzel, J.E. and W.J. Poly. 2000. Range expansion of golden crayfish, Orconectes luteus, in the Mississippi River. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 15(2): 281-282.
Hiland, T.M. and W.J. Poly. 2000. The bleeding shiner, Luxilus zonatus, in Illinois (Cyprinidae). Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 93(2): 145-146.
Cochran, P.A., A.P. Kinziger, and W.J. Poly. 1999. Predation on horsehair worms (phylum Nematomorpha). Journal of Freshwater Ecology 14(2): 211-218.
Poly, W.J. 1999. Herpetofauna of the Little South Fork basin (Cumberland River drainage), Wayne and McCreary counties, Kentucky. Ohio Journal of Science 99(2): 26-29.
Poly, W.J. and M.H. Sabaj. 1998. Lack of evidence for the validity of Rhinichthys bowersi (Cyprinidae). Copeia 1998(4): 1081-1085.
Poly, W.J. 1998. Argulus purpureus (Risso, 1827), a junior synonym of Argulus vittatus (Rafinesque-Schmaltz, 1814) (Branchiura: Arguloida). Crustaceana 71(6): 628-632.
Poly, W.J. and A.K. Wilson. 1998. The Fringed Darter, Etheostoma crossopterum, in the Cache River basin of southern Illinois (Percidae: subgenus Catonotus). Ohio Journal of Science 98(2): 6-9.
Poly, W.J. 1998. New state, host, and distribution records of the fish ectoparasite, Argulus (Branchiura), from Illinois (U.S.A.). Crustaceana 71(1): 1-8.
Poly, W.J. 1997. Host and locality records of the fish ectoparasite, Argulus (Branchiura), from Ohio (U.S.A.). Crustaceana 70(8): 867-874.
Poly, W.J. 1997. Nongenetic variation, genetic-environmental interactions and altered gene expression. III. Posttranslational modifications. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 118A(3): 551-572.
Poly, W.J. 1997. Characteristics of an intergeneric cyprinid hybrid, Campostoma anomalum x Luxilus sp. indet. (Pisces: Cyprinidae), from the Portage River, Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science 97(3): 40-43.
Poly, W.J. 1997. Nongenetic variation, genetic-environmental interactions and altered gene expression. II. Disease, parasite and pollution effects. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 117B(1): 61-74.
Poly, W.J. 1997. Nongenetic variation, genetic-environmental interactions and altered gene expression. I. Temperature, photoperiod, diet, pH and sex-related effects. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 117A(1): 11-66.
Poly, W.J. and C.E. Boucher. 1997. Record of a creek chub, Semotilus atromaculatus (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae), preying on a jumping mouse (Zapodidae) in Bruffey Creek, Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Brimleyana 24: 29-32.
Burr, B.M., K.M. Cook, D.J. Eisenhour, K.R. Piller, W.J. Poly, R.W. Sauer, C.A. Taylor, E.R. Atwood and G.L. Seegert. 1996. Selected Illinois fishes in jeopardy: New records and status evaluations. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 89(3/4): 169-186.
Poly, W.J. and C.E. Boucher. 1996. Nontroglobitic fishes in caves: Their abnormalities, ecological classification and importance. The American Midland Naturalist 136(1): 187-198.
Poly, W.J. and R.A. Noggle. 1996. Natural History Notes: Terrapene carolina carolina. Herpetological Review 27(2): 78.
Poly, W.J. 1996. Geographic Distribution: Eurycea cirrigera. Herpetological Review 27(1): 28.
Poly, W.J. and R.J. Miltner. 1995. Recent records of the endangered western banded killifish, Fundulus diaphanus menona, in the Portage River Basin, Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science 95(4): 294-297.
Daniel M. Cohen
David A. Ebert
Program Director / Adjunct Faculty
Pacific Shark Research Center, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Mark Van N. Erdmann
Conservation International Indonesia Marine Program
Carl J. Ferraris
Michelle R. Gaither
David W. Greenfield
Emeritus Professor, Univ. of Hawaii
Robert N. Lea
Douglas J. Long
Catherine W. Mecklenburg
Point Stephens Research
Rita S. Mehta
Assistant Professor University of California, Santa Cruz
David A. Neely
William J. Poly
Stuart G. Poss
The Department of Ichthyology is home to one of the largest and most important collections of fishes in the world, and is designated as one of eight International Centers for Ichthyology in North America. Meet the researchers, explore projects and expeditions, and more.