Etheostoma osburni - (Hubbs and Trautman, 1932)
Candy Darter
Other English Common Names: Finescale Saddled Darter
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Etheostoma osburni (Hubbs and Trautman, 1932) (TSN 168419)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105680
Element Code: AFCQC02550
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Perches and Darters
Image 207

© Noel Burkhead & Virginia Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries (Fishes of Virginia)

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Perciformes Percidae Etheostoma
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Etheostoma osburni
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly known as the "finescale saddled darter" (see Robins et al. 1991). Closest relative is the Kanawha darter, E. kanawhae (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Dec2011
Global Status Last Changed: 19Mar1997
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Small range in Kanawha River drainage, Virginia and West Virginia; fairly common in some areas, but suitable habitat has declined, and the species' distribution and abundance probably are still declining; threats include hybridization with an introduced darter species, stream siltation, effects of stocked trout, and possibly habitat disturbance by anglers.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (05Dec1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Virginia (S1), West Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PT: Proposed threatened (04Oct2017)
IUCN Red List Category: NT - Near threatened
American Fisheries Society Status: Vulnerable (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes the Kanawha River drainage above Kanawha Falls, West Virginia and Virginia (Page and Burr 2011); New River drainage, in the Ridge and Valley of Virginia and the Appalachian Plateaus of West Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). See Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) for corrections of identifications affecting the known ranges of this species and E. kanawhae.

In West Virginia, E. osburni is distributed widely throughout the Greenbrier and Gauley rivers (Stauffer et al. 1995).

In Virginia, E. osburni is generally distributed only in Big Stony Creek, perhaps solely above the gypsum plant at Kimbalton; it is extremely localized in Laurel Fork of the Wolf Creek system; and has a limited range in the New River. It is known also from Reed, Big Walker, Little Stony, and Sinking creeks, and Spruce and Pine runs, but there are no recent records from these streams (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).

Area of Occupancy: Unknown 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a fairly large number of occurrences (subpopulations). Stauffer et al. (1995) mapped 40+ collection sites in West Virginia. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) mapped 18 sites in Virginia, representing at least several distinct occurrences, but the species may not be extant in some of those areas.

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: This species is regarded as fairly common (Page and Burr 2011). It is generally rare in Virginia; at best, uncommon in Big Stony Creek (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats include stream turbidity and siltation resulting from human activities. Stocking of trout may be detrimental (trout probably eat E. osburni). Also, anglers may limit populations by wading through possible spawning sites (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) stated that they previously (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991) may have underrated the jeopardy of this species in Virginia by recommending it for only special concern status; in 1994 they rated it as endangered or threatened in Virginia due to "localization or extirpation of most populations."

Switzer et al. (2007) found strong genetic evidence of hybridization between Etheostoma osburni and introduced E. variatum in the New River drainage. Specimens of E. osburni from the Greenbrier River drainage above Anthony Creek did not have evidence of hybridization with E. variatum and appear to be functioning as a separate population from individuals collected from Anthony Creek and sites downstream. However, E. variatum could expend upstream and affect additional E. osburni populations.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Current trend is uncertain, but this species appears to be declining in area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and abundance.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources initiated a survey in 1993 to evaluate the status of the candy darter throughout its entire range in the state. Through 2000, approximately 40 of 50 historic candy darter sites (i.e., localities established prior to 1980) were visited. The survey revealed that although this species is probably declining or has been extirpated from certain waters within its West Virginia range, several excellent sites still exist (Cincotta et al. 2000).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: In Virginia, much reduced or absent in most tributaries that produced records from 1940 to 1970 (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Chipps et al. (1993) reported that this species may be disappearing from several streams in the Monongahela National Forest.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Better information is needed on current distribution, abundance, and trend.

Distribution
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Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) Range includes the Kanawha River drainage above Kanawha Falls, West Virginia and Virginia (Page and Burr 2011); New River drainage, in the Ridge and Valley of Virginia and the Appalachian Plateaus of West Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). See Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) for corrections of identifications affecting the known ranges of this species and E. kanawhae.

In West Virginia, E. osburni is distributed widely throughout the Greenbrier and Gauley rivers (Stauffer et al. 1995).

In Virginia, E. osburni is generally distributed only in Big Stony Creek, perhaps solely above the gypsum plant at Kimbalton; it is extremely localized in Laurel Fork of the Wolf Creek system; and has a limited range in the New River. It is known also from Reed, Big Walker, Little Stony, and Sinking creeks, and Spruce and Pine runs, but there are no recent records from these streams (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
VA Bland (51021), Giles (51071), Pulaski (51155)*, Wythe (51197)*
WV Fayette (54019)*, Greenbrier (54025), Monroe (54063)*, Nicholas (54067), Pocahontas (54075), Webster (54101)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper New (05050001)+, Middle New (05050002)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+, Gauley (05050005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small fish (darter).
Reproduction Comments: Spawning typically peaks mid-to-late May in the Greenbrier River, West Virginia (Lee et al. 1980). Spawners were found in late April at a water temperature of 15.5 C in Big Stony Creek, Virginia; adults were in breeding condition on 20 June at 18 C in a different year (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Sexually mature in 2 years, lives up to 3 years.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, High gradient, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes fast rubble riffles of small to medium rivers (Page and Burr 1991); swift water over stones and boulders in cool montane streams; rocky, typically clear, cold and warm, small to large creeks; adults generally occur in unsilted runs, riffles, and swift pockets of current in and around large rubble and boulders (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991); cool to warm waters of small streams to medium sized rivers in the Ridge and Valley Province of Virginia and West Virginia, and the Appalachian Plateau of West Virginia (Cincotta et al. 2000). In three streams in West Virginia, this darter occurred in fast current velocities over rock substrate in water depths of 20-30 cm (Chipps et al. 1994). Spawning may occur in patches of sand in swift water (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Diet includes aquatic insect larvae and water mites (Inman, in Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).
Length: 8 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Better information is needed on spawning sites and season, life span, food supply,
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Darters

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Data on dispersal and other movements generally are not available. Though larvae of some species may drift with the current, Turner (2001) found no significant relationship between a larval transport index and gene flow among several different darter species.

Separation distances are arbitrary but reflect the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of aquatic habitat would represent truly independent populations.

Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.

Occupied locations that are separated by a gap of 10 km or more of any aquatic habitat that is not known to be occupied generally represent different occurrences. However, it is important to evaluate seasonal changes in habitat to ensure that an occupied habitat occurrence for a particular population does not artificially separate spawning areas and nonspawning areas as different occurrences simply because there have been no collections/observations in an intervening area that may exceed the separation distance.

Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 22Dec2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G., R. Jennings, and S. Roble
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Dec2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Burkhead, N. M., and R. E. Jenkins. 1991. Fishes. Pages 321-409 in K. Terwilliger (coordinator). Virginia's Endangered Species: Proceedings of a Symposium. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, Virginia.

  • Chipps, S. R., and W. B. Perry. 1994. Patterns of microhabitat use among four species of darters in three Appalachian streams. American Midland Naturalist 131:175-180.

  • Chipps, S.R., W.B. Perry, and S.A. Perry. 1993. Status and distribution of Phenacobius teretulus, Etheostoma osburni, and "Rhinichthys bowersi" in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 44(1):47-58.

  • Cincotta, D. A., T. Bassista, and T. E. Oldham. 2000. The status of Etheostoma osburni (candy darter) in West Virginia. Abstract, Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society Midyear Meeting held in Savannah, Georgia.

  • Jelks, H. L., S. J. Walsh, N. M. Burkhead, S. Contreras-Balderas, E. Díaz-Pardo, D. A. Hendrickson, J. Lyons, N. E. Mandrak, F. McCormick, J. S. Nelson, S. P. Platania, B. A. Porter, C. B. Renaud, J. Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, E. B. Taylor, and M.L. Warren, Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372-407.

  • Kuehne, R. A., and R. W. Barbour. 1983. The American Darters. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky. 177 pp.

  • 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, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Natural Heritage Program Files. 1995. Unpublished data.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M. 1983a. Handbook of Darters. T. F. H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey. 271 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Switzer, J. F., S. A. Welsh, and T. L. King. 2007. A molecular genetic investigation of hybridization between Etheostoma osburni and Etheostoma variatum in the New River drainage, West Virginia. Final Report submitted to: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Ward Road, Elkins, WV.

  • Warren, M. L., Jr., B. M. Burr, S. J. Walsh, H. L. Bart, Jr., R. C. Cashner, D. A. Etnier, B. J. Freeman, B. R. Kuhajda, R. L. Mayden, H. W. Robison, S. T. Ross, and W. C. Starnes. 2000. Diversity, distribution, and conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries 25(10):7-31.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. xxiii + 1079 pp.

  • Master, L. L. and A. L. Stock. 1998. Synoptic national assessment of comparative risks to biological diversity and landscape types: species distributions. Summary Report submitted to Environmental Protection Agency. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA. 36 pp.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996a. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

  • Stauffer, J. R., Jr., J. M. Boltz, and L. R. White. 1995. The fishes of West Virginia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 146:1-389.

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