The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Etheostoma cragini
Etheostoma cragini
(Arkansas Darter)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Etheostoma cragini Gilbert, 1885

Common name: Arkansas Darter

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Robison and Buchanan (1988); Page and Burr (1991); Cross and Collins (1995); Pflieger (1997).

Size: 6 cm.

Native Range: Arkansas River drainage in southwestern Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: This species was introduced into the spring-fed inlet to Lytle Pond on the Fort Carson Military Reservation, El Paso County, Colorado in July 1980 (Miller 1984).  Arkansas Darters were historically found in the Arkansas River at Canon City, Colorado in the same area.  Museum specimens were found from 1889 to 1913 (UMMZ 61589, UCM 406, USM 6336, USNM 63371.5).  This stocking was in a pond that was previously fishless (Miller 1984), as a conservation measure.

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Etheostoma cragini are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CO198019831Upper Arkansas
MO200420041Lower Osage
OK194819481Upper Little

Table last updated 6/16/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: According to Miller (1984), the Lytle Pond introduction was carried out by the Colorado Division of Wildlife as part of an experimental transplant, apparently for the preservation of an imperiled or uncommon species. The introduction involved 34 specimens taken from a spring slough along Fountain (about 5 kilometers south of town of Fountain), El Paso County, Colorado.  This species was stocked as a conservation measure.

Status: Apparently established in Colorado in a single site within its native range, but in a non-native waterbody. Numerous small darters were observed in Lytle Pond in October 1982; one male and six females, in reproductive condition, were trapped in March 1983. Miller (1984) indicated that a quantitative census has yet to be made.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: Prior to introduction, the inlet and Lytle Pond were unoccupied by fish (Miller 1984). All, or most of, the Fort Carson Military Reservation in El Paso County is within the Fountain Creek system (Arkansas River drainage).

Other Resources:
Cross, F.B., and J.T. Collins. 1995. Fishes in Kansas. University of Kansas Natural History Museum. Lawrence, KS.

Miller, D.L. 1984. Distribution, abundance, and habitat of the Arkansas darter Etheostoma cragini (Percidae) in Colorado. Southwestern Naturalist 29(4):496-499.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to the freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Guide Series, vol. 42. Houghton Mifflin Clompany, Boston, MA.

Pflieger, W. 1997. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Environmental Conservation, Jefferson City, MO.

Robison, H.W., and T.M. Buchanan. 1998. Fishes of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, AR.

FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 4/30/2018

Peer Review Date: 5/16/2012

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Etheostoma cragini Gilbert, 1885: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=810, Revision Date: 4/30/2018, Peer Review Date: 5/16/2012, Access Date: 6/17/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/17/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.