Common name: Arkansas Darter
available through www.itis.gov
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).
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.
Table last updated 12/11/2023
† 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.
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.
Revision Date: 4/30/2018
Peer Review Date: 5/16/2012
Fuller, P., 2023, 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: 12/11/2023
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.