Arkansas darter (Etheostoma cragini)
The Arkansas darter is a small, 2.5 inch fish in the perch family native to portions of the Arkansas River basin. Its upper body is brown, and its back has many fine, black specks. It has a dark, vertical wedge-shaped spot beneath its eye. Its body has 12 to 14 dusky stripes along the sides. Its belly is nearly white, except in breeding males in which it becomes bright orange. The Arkansas darterís range includes sites in extreme northwestern Arkansas, southwestern Missouri, and northeastern Oklahoma, within the Neosho River watershed. It also occurs in a number of watersheds and isolated streams in eastern Colorado, south-central and southwestern Kansas, and the Cimarron watershed in northwest Oklahoma.
- States/US Territories in which the Arkansas darter, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur: Arkansas , Colorado , Kansas , Missouri , Oklahoma
- US Counties in which the Arkansas darter, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur: View All
- USFWS Refuges in which the Arkansas darter, Wherever found is known to occur:
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|Mountain-Prairie Region (Region 6)||Wherever found|
» Candidate Information
» Federal Register Documents
» Conservation Plans
No conservation plans have been created for Arkansas darter.
» Life History
The Arkansas darter prefers shallow, clear, cool water, sand or silt bottom streams with spring-fed pools and abundant rooted aquatic vegetation. During late summer low-water periods when streams may become intermittent, Arkansas darter populations in Colorado persist in large, deep pools.
Arkansas darters feed on a variety of aquatic insects, primarily mayflies, and some plant material, including small seeds.
Movement / Home Range
Research suggests that the dynamics of movement as it relates to the life history of Arkansas darters is quite complex. Arkansas darters have been found to move both upstream and downstream within a stream reach. Increased precipitation in one year on Big Sandy Creek in eastern Colorado lead to high flows that allowed Arkansas darter to move 2.5-3.3 km downstream to habitat that was previously disconnected.
Arkansas darters are sexually mature in one year or less. Darters spawn throughout spring and summer, in shallow water over a bottom of coarse gravel. Eggs are usually deposited in open areas, on organic material that covers a sandy streambed.
Threats to the Arkansas darter include stream dewatering resulting from groundwater pumping in the western portion of the species' range, and potential development pressures in portions of its eastern range. These conditions can be exacerbated by localized drought. Spills and runoff from confined animal feeding operations also potentially affect the species range-wide.
» Other Resources
NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.