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 edwini
Etheostoma edwini
(Brown Darter)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Etheostoma edwini (Hubbs and Cannon, 1935)

Common name: Brown Darter

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Page (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Mettee et al. (1996).

Size: 5.3 cm.

Native Range: St. Johns drainage, Florida, to Perdido River drainage, Alabama (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:

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 edwini are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL196419931Choctawhatchee Bay

Table last updated 6/19/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Exactly how Brown Darters arrived to Swift Creek is not clear. It is possible that the Brown Darter spread by natural dispersal through estuaries into new tributaries of Rocky Bayou. They may have been a result of discarded bait, or they may have been present but overlooked in previous collections (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1998).

Introduction at Boggy Bayou was probably via bait bucket, at least in the headwaters. Multiple bait bucket introductions may have occurred in this area (Burkhead et al. 1992; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1998). Another possible means of introduction is stock contamination. In the 1950s and 1960s, certain sections of the Rocky Creek watershed were stocked with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass from the federal fish hatchery in Welaka, FL. The hatchery is located within the native range of the Brown Darter, and it is possible that Brown Darters were accidentally included in the shipment (Burkhead et al. 1992).  Lastly, this may represent a natural dispersal through estuaries.  Burkhead et al. (1994) demonstrated that this species can tolerate up to 14 ppt salinity with high survivorship.  Salinities in the bayou are in this range.

The single individual collected in Juniper Creek, a Boggy Bayou tributary, may have been the result of a bait release (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1998).

Status: Established in lower reaches of Rocky Bayou stream systems; reported from Boggy Bayou. Populations fluctuate over a period of 3-5 years.

Impact of Introduction: The Brown Darter is replacing the Okaloosa darter E. okaloosae in portions of several creeks tributary to Choctawhatchee Bay (Burkhead, personal communication).

Remarks: It is debated whether the Brown Darters in Rocky Bayou represent introductions or a species that was overlooked.

Voucher specimens: (Northeast Louisiana University Museum of Zoology - NELUMZ 21364-5, UAIC 1493.56, UF many).

References: (click for full references)

Burkhead, N.M., H.L. Jelks, F. Jordan, D.C. Weaver, and J.D. Williams.  1994.  The comparative ecology of Okaloosa (Etheostoma okaloosae) and brown darters (E. edwini) in Boggy and Rocky Bayou stream systems, Choctawhatchee Bay, Florida.  Final Report to Eglin Air Force Base.  90p.

Burkhead, N.M., J.D. Williams, and R.W. Yerger. 1992.  Okaloosa darter (Etheostoma okaloosae).  P 21-30 in C.R. Gilbert (ed.).  Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida.  Volume III. Fishes.  University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Lee, D.S., C.R. Gilbert, C.H. Hocutt, R.E. Jenkins, D.E. McAllister, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC.

Mettee, M.F., P.E. O'Neil, and J.M. Pierson. 1996. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile basin. Oxmoor House, Inc. Birmingham, AL.

Page, L.M. 1983. Handbook of darters. T.F.H., Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. Freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, vol. 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1998. Okaloosa Darter (Etheostoma okaloosae) Recovery Plan (Revised). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, GA. 42 pp.. http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/recovery_plan/970407.pdf

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 5/16/2012

Peer Review Date: 5/16/2012

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Etheostoma edwini (Hubbs and Cannon, 1935): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=811, Revision Date: 5/16/2012, Peer Review Date: 5/16/2012, Access Date: 6/19/2024

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 [6/19/2024].

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.