Common name: Western Sand Darter
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Williams (1975); Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991) under the name Etheostoma clarum; Etnier and Starnes (1993).
Size: 7.1 cm TL
Native Range: Mississippi River basin from Wisconsin and Minnesota south to Mississippi and Sabine and Neches river drainages, Texas; also in the Green, Cumberland, and Tennessee river drainages (presumably extinct in the first two); generally sporadic and rare (Williams 1975; Page and Burr 1991).
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 Ammocrypta clara are found here.
Table last updated 6/26/2022
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: Inhabits medium to large streams with moderate current, over sandy areas where it will bury itself leaving only the eyes and mouth visible (Etnier and Starnes 1993).
Means of Introduction: These fish likely gained access to the Wolf system via the Wisconsin-Fox Canal (Becker 1983). Mechanism of transport to West Virginia is unknown.
Status: Established in Wisconsin and West Virginia.
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.
References: (click for full references)
Becker, C.G. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press. Madison, Wisconsin. 1052 pp.
Cincotta, D.A. and S.A. Welsh. 2010. Discovery of Ammocrypta clara
(Western Sand Darter) in the Upper Ohio River of West Virginia. American Midland Naturalist 163: 318.325.
Etnier, D.A. and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press. Knoxville, TN. 681 pp.
Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America North of Mexico. The Peterson Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, MA. 432 pp.
Williams J. D. 1975. Systematics of the percid fishes of the subgenus Ammocrypta
, with descriptions of two new species. Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History 1:1-56.
Animal Diversity Web
(University of Michigan Museum of Zoology)
Pam Fuller, Matt Cannister, and Matt Neilson
Revision Date: 7/6/2011
Peer Review Date: 7/6/2011
Pam Fuller, Matt Cannister, and Matt Neilson, 2022, Ammocrypta clara Jordan and Meek, 1885: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=806, Revision Date: 7/6/2011, Peer Review Date: 7/6/2011, Access Date: 6/30/2022
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.