Etheostoma olmstedi

Etheostoma olmstedi
Tessellated darter – Etheostoma olmstedi

Etheostoma olmstedi

FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
PercidaeEtheostoma olmstediStorer1842Tessellated Darter

Note: The taxonomic status of Tessellated Darter, Etheostoma olmstedi, and Johnny Darter, E. nigrum,  has been unsettled for a long time. Tessellated Darter in North Carolina is found in all river basins east of the Mountains with an introduced population in the New basin. In North Carolina Johnny Darter is found primarily upstream from the Fall Zone in the Piedmont regions of the Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse basins. The two species are sympatric near the Fall Zone along the eastern Piedmont and western Coastal Plain in the Neuse, Tar, and Roanoke basins.

Unique Characteristics: Belly and interpelvic area lacking modified scales. Lateral line normal, not arched upward. Gill membranes narrowly joined, 55-75°. 1st  anal spine flexible, as thin as 2nd anal spine (anal spine 1 east of Cape Fear basin); anal rays 7 or 8 (7-10). Lateral line scales 43-54. Nape and cheek naked or poorly scaled. Caudal fin emarginate or truncate. Infraorbital canal normally complete.

Similar Species:

Johnny Darter Etheostoma nigrum. Belly and interpelvic area lacking modified scales. Lateral line normal, not arched upward. 1st  anal spine flexible; anal rays 7 or 8 (7-10). Lateral line scales 39-45. Nape and cheek naked or poorly scaled. Gill membranes narrowly joined, 55-75°. Caudal fin truncate. Infraorbital canal incomplete.

Etheostoma nigrum
Johnny Darter – Etheostoma nigrum
Photo Credit: NANFA

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