Etheostoma microperca - Jordan and Gilbert, 1888
Least Darter
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Etheostoma microperca Jordan and Gilbert in Jordan, 1888 (TSN 168411)
French Common Names: petit dard
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103616
Element Code: AFCQC02450
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Perches and Darters
 
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 microperca
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 23Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Dec1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (09Feb2016)

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 Arkansas (S1), Illinois (S2S3), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S1), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SX), Michigan (S2S3), Minnesota (S3), Missouri (S2), Ohio (S3), Oklahoma (S3), Wisconsin (S3)
Canada Ontario (S4)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Not at Risk (01Apr1989)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for Designation: This species is restricted in Canada to southern Ontario, and are sensitive to human activity. It is locally abundant in parts of the range, and populations appear to be stable.

Status History: Designated Not at Risk in April 1989. More recently (2015) considered a low priority candidate for re-assessment.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi River basins from Ontario and Minnesota south to southern Ohio, central Indiana, and central Illinois; Ozark-Ouachita drainages of southern Missouri, southeastern Kansas (at least formerly), northwestern Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma; isolated populations in northern Kentucky (extirpated), Jefferson County, Missouri; and Blue River, Oklahoma (Hargrave and Johnson 2003, Page and Burr 2011).

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but apparently quite large (likely greater than 100,000). This species is common, sometimes abundant, in spring-fed streams (Page and Burr 2011).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known.

Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past three generations is uncertain but probably relatively stable or slowly declining.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species declined in abundance, especially at range periphery, in the latter decades of the 1900s. It declined in distribution in Arkansas between 1983 and 1997 (Hargrave and Johnson 2003). See Dalton (1990) for information on status in Canada.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Range includes the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi River basins from Ontario and Minnesota south to southern Ohio, central Indiana, and central Illinois; Ozark-Ouachita drainages of southern Missouri, southeastern Kansas (at least formerly), northwestern Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma; isolated populations in northern Kentucky (extirpated), Jefferson County, Missouri; and Blue River, Oklahoma (Hargrave and Johnson 2003, Page and Burr 2011).

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AR, IA, IL, IN, KS, KYextirpated, MI, MN, MO, OH, OK, WI
Canada ON

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Benton (05007), Washington (05143)
IA Cedar (19031)*, Clayton (19043)*, Delaware (19055)*, Fayette (19065)*, Mitchell (19131), Muscatine (19139)*
KS Cherokee (20021)*
MN Aitkin (27001), Anoka (27003)*, Becker (27005), Carver (27019), Cass (27021), Chisago (27025)*, Crow Wing (27035), Dodge (27039)*, Douglas (27041), Goodhue (27049)*, Hennepin (27053), Hubbard (27057), Isanti (27059)*, Itasca (27061), Kanabec (27065), Kandiyohi (27067), Le Sueur (27079), Meeker (27093), Morrison (27097), Mower (27099), Otter Tail (27111), Pope (27121), Ramsey (27123), Sherburne (27141), St. Louis (27137), Stearns (27145), Todd (27153), Wadena (27159), Washington (27163), Wright (27171), Yellow Medicine (27173)
MO Barry (29009), Benton (29015), Camden (29029), Dallas (29059), Greene (29077), Jasper (29097), Jefferson (29099)*, Laclede (29105), Lawrence (29109), Mississippi (29133)*, Morgan (29141), Newton (29145), Phelps (29161), Pulaski (29169), St. Clair (29185), Texas (29215), Webster (29225), Wright (29229)
OH Allen (39003), Auglaize (39011), Champaign (39021), Clark (39023), Darke (39037), Fayette (39047), Hardin (39065), Madison (39097), Miami (39109), Montgomery (39113), Portage (39133), Preble (39135), Putnam (39137), Shelby (39149)
WI Ashland (55003), Barron (55005), Bayfield (55007), Burnett (55013), Chippewa (55017)*, Clark (55019), Dane (55025)*, Dodge (55027)*, Douglas (55031), Fond Du Lac (55039), Green (55045), Green Lake (55047)*, Iowa (55049), Jefferson (55055), Kenosha (55059), Marinette (55075)*, Marquette (55077)*, Milwaukee (55079)*, Oconto (55083)*, Ozaukee (55089), Polk (55095)*, Portage (55097)*, Racine (55101), Richland (55103)*, Rock (55105), Rusk (55107), Sauk (55111), Sawyer (55113), Shawano (55115)*, Sheboygan (55117), Vilas (55125), Walworth (55127), Washburn (55129), Washington (55131)*, Waukesha (55133), Waupaca (55135), Waushara (55137)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 St. Louis (04010201)+, Bad-Montreal (04010302)+, Manitowoc-Sheboygan (04030101)+*, Peshtigo (04030105)+, Menominee (04030108)+, Escanaba (04030110), Fishdam-Sturgeon (04030112), Upper Fox (04030201)+, Wolf (04030202)+, Little Calumet-Galien (04040001), Pike-Root (04040002)+, Milwaukee (04040003)+, St. Joseph (04050001), Kalamazoo (04050003), Upper Grand (04050004), Lower Grand (04050006), Thornapple (04050007), Pere Marquette-White (04060101), Muskegon (04060102), Lone Lake-Ocqueoc (04070003), Black (04070005), Thunder Bay (04070006), Au Sable (04070007), Au Gres-Rifle (04080101), Pigeon-Wiscoggin (04080103), Birch-Willow (04080104), Pine (04080202), Shiawassee (04080203), Flint (04080204), Cass (04080205), St. Clair (04090001), Lake St. Clair (04090002), Clinton (04090003), Detroit (04090004), Huron (04090005), Ottawa-Stony (04100001), Raisin (04100002), St. Joseph (04100003), Upper Maumee (04100005), Tiffin (04100006), Auglaize (04100007)+, Blanchard (04100008)+, Sandusky (04100011)*, Cuyahoga (04110002)+
05 Tuscarawas (05040001)*, Upper Scioto (05060001)+, Lower Scioto (05060002), Paint (05060003)+, Upper Great Miami (05080001)+, Lower Great Miami (05080002)+, Whitewater (05080003), Little Miami (05090202)+, Mississinewa (05120103)+, Eel (05120104), Middle Wabash-Deer (05120105), Tippecanoe (05120106), Wildcat (05120107), Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108), Sugar (05120110), Upper White (05120201), Eel (05120203), Driftwood (05120204), Flatrock-Haw (05120205), Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)*
07 Mississippi Headwaters (07010101)+, Leech Lake (07010102)+, Prairie-Willow (07010103)+, Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Pine (07010105)+, Crow Wing (07010106)+, Redeye (07010107)+, Long Prairie (07010108)+, Platte-Spunk (07010201)+, Sauk (07010202)+, Clearwater-Elk (07010203)+, Crow (07010204)+, South Fork Crow (07010205)+, Twin Cities (07010206)+, Rum (07010207)+, Pomme De Terre (07020002)+, Hawk-Yellow Medicine (07020004)+, Chippewa (07020005)+, Lower Minnesota (07020012), Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Namekagon (07030002)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Cannon (07040002)+, Zumbro (07040004)+*, Black (07040007)+, Upper Chippewa (07050001)+, Flambeau (07050002)+, Lower Chippewa (07050005)+*, Red Cedar (07050007)+, Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003), Maquoketa (07060006)+*, Castle Rock (07070003)+*, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+, Upper Cedar (07080201)+, Lower Cedar (07080206)+*, Upper Rock (07090001)+, Crawfish (07090002)+, Pecatonica (07090003)+, Sugar (07090004)+, Lower Rock (07090005), Kishwaukee (07090006), Kankakee (07120001), Iroquois (07120002), Des Plaines (07120004)+, Upper Illinois (07120005), Upper Fox (07120006)+, Lower Fox (07120007), Cahokia-Joachim (07140101)+
08 New Madrid-St. Johns (08020201)+*
09 Otter Tail (09020103)+, Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)
10 Harry S. Missouri (10290105)+, Sac (10290106)+, Lake of the Ozarks (10290109)+, Niangua (10290110)+, Upper Gasconade (10290201)+, Lower Gasconade (10290203)+, Lower Missouri-Moreau (10300102), Lamine (10300103)+
11 Lake O' the Cherokees (11070206)+, Spring (11070207)+, Lower Neosho (11070209), Illinois (11110103)+, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104), Blue (11140102)
+ 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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Reproduction Comments: Spawning begins in February in south, extends from late May to late July in north (Minnesota). In Minnesota, individual females apparently produced a minimum of 3 clutches during the spawning season. Eggs not guarded by male, hatch in about 6 days at 23 C, 11 days at 16 C. Larvae hatch in June and July in north. Sexually mature in 1 year. Maximum lifespan in Illinois about 18-20 months (Page 1983); in Minnesota, about 20% lived two years, very few lived as long as 3 years (Johnson and Hatch 1991).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes quiet, vegetated lakes, headwaters, creeks, and small rivers, where the species usually occurs over mud and sand (Page and Burr 2011). In the northern part of the range, this darter inhabits weedy portions of lakes and of clear streams with sluggish flow. In the south, it occupies vegetated portions of sluggish creeks, pools below springs, and quiet pools in stream floodplains. (Kuehne and Barbour 1983). In Minnesota, this darter occupied shallow, heavily weeded water in and immediately downstream of pools in the spawning and growing season; it overwintered in deep water of pools (Johnson and Hatch 1991). Spawning occurs in shallow weedy areas, eggs are laid on living or dead vegetation (Page 1983). In Minnesota, spawning occurred on the leaves of Vallisneria, Potamogeton, and Carex at stream margins near pools (Johnson and Hatch 1991).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eat mainly entomostracans and midge larvae. Feeding peaks at midday. (Page 1983). In Minnesota, diet of adults was mainly copepods and cladocerans in May and October, midge larvae in June-July (Johnson and Hatch 1991).
Phenology Comments: Feeding peaks at midday (Page 1983).
Length: 4 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
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
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 21Dec2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Dec2011
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
  • Bart, H. L., Jr., and L. M. Page. 1992. The influence of size and phylogeny on life history variation in North American percids. Pages 553-572 in R.L. Mayden, editor. Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. xxvi + 969 pp.

  • Becker, G. C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. Univ. Wisconsin Press, Madison. 1052 pp.

  • Becker, G. C. 1983. The fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin. 1052 pp.

  • Burr, B. M. and L. M. Page. 1979. The life history of the least darter, Etheostoma microperca, in the Iroquois River, Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Biological Notes No.112. 15 pp.

  • Dalton, K. W. 1990. Status of the least darter, Etheostoma microperca, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 104:53-58.

  • Dalton, K.W. 1989. Status Report on the Least Darter (Etheostoma microperca). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 13 pp + appen.

  • Eddy, S., and J. C. Underhill. 1974. Northern fishes, with special reference to the Upper Mississippi Valley. Third edition. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 414 pp.

  • Hargrave, C. W., and J. E. Johnson. 2003. Status of Arkansas darter, Etheostoma cragini, and least darter, E. microperca, in Arkansas. Southwestern Naturalist 48:89-92.

  • Hatch, J. T., K. P. Schmidt, D. P. Siems, J. C. Underhill, R. A. Bellig, and R. A. Baker. 2003. A new distributional checklist of Minnesota fishes, with comments on historical occurrence. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 67:1-17.

  • Johnson, J. D., and J. T. Hatch. 1991. Life history of the Least Darter Etheostoma microperca at the northwestern limits of its range. American Midland Naturalist 125:87-103.

  • Johnson, J. D., and J. T. Hatch. 1991. Life history of the least darter Etheostoma microperca at the northwestern limits of its range. American Midland Naturalist 125:87-103.

  • 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.

  • Lyons, J., P. Hanson, E. White, J. F. Kitchell, and P. Moy.  2012.  Wisconsin fish identification database [web application].  <http://wiscfish.org>.  Accessed 18 May 2016.

  • NatureServe.  2015.  NatureServe Explorer:  an online encyclopedia of life [web application].  Version 7.1.  NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia.  <http://www.natureserve.org/explorer>.  Accessed 17 May 2016.

  • Nelson, D. 2013. For love of minnows. Minnesota Conservation Volunteer 76(448):56-61.

  • 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., 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.

  • Petravicz, J. J. 1936. The breeding habits of the Least Darter, Microperca punctulata Putnam. Copeia 1936(2):77-82.

  • Petravicz, J. J. 1936. The breeding habits of the least darter, Microperca punctulata (Putnam). Copeia 1936(2):77-82.

  • 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.

  • Schmidt, K. P.  2014.  Noah's Fish Ark.  American Currents 39(1):8-12.

  • Schmidt, K. P., and N. Proulx. 2009. State Wildlife Grant final report; status and critical habitat of Special Concern and rare fish species in lakes within seven counties in Minnesota. 16 pp, including photos and maps. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources.

  • Simon, Thomas P. 2011. Fishes of Indiana. Indiana University Press. Bloomington, 345 pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Becker, G. C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 1,052 pp.

  • Burr, B. M., and M. L. Warren, Jr. 1986a. Distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Scientific and Technical Series No. 4, Frankfort, Kentucky. 398 pp.

  • Cross, F. B., and J. T. Collins. 1995. Fishes in Kansas. Second Edition, revised. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History. xvii + 315 pp.

  • Fago, D. 2000. Relative abundance and distribution of fishes in Wisconsin. Fish Distribution Database to year 2000. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

  • Harlan, J. R., E. B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa. 323 pp.

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

  • Pflieger, W. L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation. Columbia, Missouri. viii + 343 pp.

  • Robison, H. W. and T. M. Buchanan. 1988. Fishes of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Arkansas. 536 pp.

  • Smith, P. W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. 314 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.

  • Trautman, M. B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Second edition. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, Ohio. 782 pp.

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