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 fusiforme
Etheostoma fusiforme
(Swamp Darter)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Etheostoma fusiforme (Girard, 1854)

Common name: Swamp Darter

Synonyms and Other Names: Bolesoma fusiforme

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Page (1983); Smith (1985); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).

Size: 5.9 cm.

Native Range: Seaboard lowlands, Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains from southern Maine to Louisiana (Sabine River) and southeastern Oklahoma (Red River); Former Mississippi Embayment north to Kentucky and southeastern Missouri (Page and Burr 1991). Collette (1962) gave a dot distribution map.

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 fusiforme are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
NH199319941Merrimack River
NC194720073French Broad-Holston; Pigeon; Upper French Broad

Table last updated 6/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Primarily occurs in slow moving or stagnant waters such as ponds, swamps, and small backwaters (Collette 1962).

Means of Introduction: Unknown.

Status: Established in North Carolina (Page and Burr 1991).

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: This species was incorrectly considered introduced to a coastal stream west of the Thames River, Connecticut, by Schmidt and Whitworth (1979) (Schmidt 1986). Fish collected from this location were incorrectly described as a new subspecies, Hololepis barratti apalachia (Bailey 1950; Bailey et al. 1954). Hololepis is now considered a subgenus of Etheostoma and barratti, which was once a subspecies of fusiforme, was placed back in the species fusiforme (Collette 1962).

References: (click for full references)

Bailey, J.R. 1950. A new subspecies of the darter Hololepis barratti from western North Carolina. Copeia 1950(4):311-316.

Bailey, R.M., H.E. Winn, and C.L. Smith. 1954. Fishes from the Escambia River, Alabama and Florida, with ecologic and taxonomc notes. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 61:109-164.

Collette, B.B. 1962. The swamp darters of the subgenus Hololepis (Pisces, Percidae). Tulane Studies in Zoology 9(4):115-211.

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tenneessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Jenkins, R.E., and N.M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater Fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

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

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

Schmidt, R.E. 1986. Zoogeography of the northen Appalachians. 137-160 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Smith, C.L. The inland fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

Other Resources:
Texas Freshwater Fishes (University of Texas San Marcos)

FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 8/1/2011

Peer Review Date: 8/1/2011

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Etheostoma fusiforme (Girard, 1854): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=813, Revision Date: 8/1/2011, Peer Review Date: 8/1/2011, Access Date: 6/20/2024

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 [6/20/2024].

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.