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.

Ammocrypta clara
Ammocrypta clara
(Western Sand Darter)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Ammocrypta clara Jordan and Meek, 1885

Common name: Western Sand Darter

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

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).

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 Ammocrypta clara are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†

Table last updated 2/22/2024

† 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.

Remarks: Voucher specimens: Michigan (UMMZ 232910), Wisconsin (UWSP 1155), West Virginia (WVWR 771, 785, 1063, 1117, 1185).

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.

Other Resources:
Animal Diversity Web (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology)

FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, Matt Cannister, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 7/6/2011

Peer Review Date: 7/6/2011

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, Matt Cannister, and Matt Neilson, 2024, 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: 2/22/2024

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 [2/22/2024].

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.