Yellowcheek Darter (Etheostoma moorei)
Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND
The yellowcheek darter is a small and laterally-compressed fish that attains a maximum standard length of about 6.4 cm (2.5 in), and has a moderately sharp snout, deep body, and deep caudal peduncle (Raney and Suttkus 1964). The back and sides are grayish brown, often with darker brown saddles and lateral bars. Breeding males are brightly colored with a bright blue or brilliant turquoise throat and breast and a light-green belly, while breeding females possess orange and red-orange spots but are not brightly colored (Robison and Buchanan 1988).
- States/US Territories in which the Yellowcheek Darter, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur: Arkansas
- US Counties in which the Yellowcheek Darter, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur: View All
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|2011-09-08||Southeast Region (Region 4)||Wherever found|
» Federal Register Documents
|Date||Title||Plan Action Status||Plan Status|
|2017-03-06||Draft Recovery Plan for the Yellowcheek Darter (Etheostoma moorei)||Recovery efforts in progress, but no implementation information yet to display||Draft|
|Recovery Implementation Strategy for Yellowcheek Darter (Etheostoma moorei)||Recovery efforts in progress, but no implementation information yet to display||Draft|
|Species Biological Report: Yellowcheek Darter (Etheostoma moorei)||Recovery efforts in progress, but no implementation information yet to display||Draft|
» Critical Habitat
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type||Status|
|2012-10-16||77 FR 63603 63668||Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cumberland Darter, Rush Darter, Yellowcheek Darter, Chucky Madtom, and Laurel Dace: Final rule.||Final Rule||Final designated|
|2011-10-12||76 FR 63360 63418||Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cumberland Darter, Rush Darter, Yellowcheek Darter, Chucky Madtom, and Laurel Dace; Proposed Rule||Proposed Rule||Not Required|
To learn more about critical habitat please see http://ecos.fws.gov/crithab
» Conservation Plans
|SHA Plan Summaries|
|Upper Little Red River, Programmatic SHA|
» Life History
The yellowcheek darter inhabits high-gradient headwater tributaries with clear water, permanent flow, moderate to strong riffles, and gravel, cobble, and boulder substrates (Robison and Buchanan 1988).
Prey items consumed by the yellowcheek darter include blackfly larvae, stoneflies, mayflies and other aquatic insects.
Movement / Home Range
Movement is not well understood. During non-spawning months, there is a general movement to portions of the riffle with smaller substrate, such as gravel or cobble, and less turbulence (Robison and Harp 1981). Weston and Johnson (2005) observed that the yellowcheek darter moved very little during a one-year migration study. It was noted the yellowcheek darter appears to be a relatively non-mobile species, with 19 of 22 recaptured individuals found within nine meters (29.5 ft) of their original capture position after periods of several months (Weston and Johnson 2005). Yellowcheek darter is endemic to the Little Red River system in the Boston Mountains of north central Arkansas. It occurs in the South, Archey, Middle, Beech, and Devils Forks of the Little Red River.
Yellowcheek Darter males and females reach sexual maturity at one year of age(McDaniel 1984). Spawning occurs from late May through June in portions of riffles with swift to moderately swift water velocities, often around or under the largest substrate particles (McDaniel 1984), although brooding females have been found at the head of riffles in smaller gravel substrate (Wine et al. 2000). Researchers have suggested the yellowcheek darterYellowcheek Darter deposits eggs on the undersides of large cobble in swift water (McDaniel 1984). Wine and Blumenshine (2002) noted, during laboratory spawning, yellowcheek darter females bury themselves in fine gravel or sand substrates (often behind large cobble or boulders) with only their heads and caudal fin exposed. A male yellowcheek darter will then position upstream of the buried female and fertilize her eggs as she releases them in a vibrating motion. Clutch size and nest defense behavior were not observed by Wine and Blumenshine (2002), but laboratory spawning efforts by Conservation Fisheries, Inc. noted clutch sizes were routinely between 20-40 eggs (CFI 2007).
Maximum lifespan is around five years (McDaniel 1984).
» 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.