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CDOW Website NDIS Home

Wildlife Arkansas Darter Page


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This copyrighted photograph is the sole proprietorship of the photographer.  Unauthorized use is a violation of federal copyright laws.
Photo by: John Woodling
 Arkansas Darter
 Etheostoma cragini

Habitat: Most specimens are taken in clear waters of low current with sandy bottoms and abundant rooted aquatic vegetation. In one water course near the town of Lamar, a darter was collected from an area of moderate current in shallow water flowing over a sand bar though there was aquatic vegetation located nearby. Miller (1984) found Arkansas darters in atypical darter habitat. Specimens were collected from the nutrient-enriched Fountain River over sandy bottoms with no vegetation

Description: A small darter; mouth and snout small and inconspicuous; opercles and preopercles are scaleless; two dorsal fins, first spiny, second soft-rayed, caudai fin squarish; pectoral and pelvic fins located close to each other behind the gills; anal fin with two spines; lateral line incomplete, usually ending beneath spiny first dorsal ray.

Range in Colorado: The Arkansas darter has a very restricted natural range. It is only found in tributaries of the Arkansas River in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The species is on the Colorado list of threatened species. In Kansas, the fish is listed as threatened and is classified as rare and endangered in Oklahoma. In Colorado, isolated populations have been found in several spring areas adjacent to the Fountain River south of Colorado Springs and other small tributaries, Rush Creek and Big Sandy Creek, of the Arkansas River on the eastern portion of Colorado (Miller 1984). The Arkansas darter is the only darter found in the Arkansas River Drainage, and is native to Colorado (Ellis 1914).


Status: CDOW WRIS Species, Federal Candidate Species, State Threatened






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