Etheostoma sagitta - (Jordan and Swain, 1883)
Arrow Darter
Other English Common Names: Cumberland Arrow Darter
Synonym(s): Etheostoma sagitta sagitta (Jordan and Swain, 1883)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Etheostoma sagitta (Jordan and Swain, 1883) (TSN 168430)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104554
Element Code: AFCQC02662
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 sagitta sagitta
Taxonomic Comments: Two subspecies, sagitta and spilotum; formerly were recognized. Page and Burr (2011) and Catalog of Fishes (as of early 2012) recognized E. spilotum as a distinct species. Page et al. (2013) did not accept this change.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19Jan2012
Global Status Last Changed: 19Jan2012
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Occurs in the upper Kentucky and Cumberland river drainages, Kentucky and Tennessee; moderately common in some areas; currently stable in the Cumberland drainage, of conservation concern in the Kentucky River drainage; habitat is vulnerable to pollution from surface mining for coal.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (19Jan2012)

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 Kentucky (S3), Tennessee (S2)

Other Statuses

American Fisheries Society Status: Vulnerable (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes the upper Cumberland River drainage, Kentucky and Tennessee (Page and Burr 2011). Occurrences in eastern tributaries to the Big South Fork of the Cumberland system in Kentucky and Tennessee are believed to be a result of stream alterations (Etnier and Starnes 1993).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: The number of distinct occurrences (subpopulations) has not been determined, but this species is represented by a large number of collection sites in many different streams (Burr and Warren 1986, Etnier and Starnes 1993).

Population Size: 2500 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but probably at least several thousand. This species is generally uncommon (Page and Burr 2011). In Kentucky, this species has been characterized as occasional and locally common in the upper Cumberland River, and sporadic and rare in the Red River (Wolfe County) and Big South Fork Cumberland River (McCreary County) (Burr and Warren 1986).

Viability/Integrity Comments: The number of occurrences with good viability is not well known, but there appears to be more than a few.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: This darter can tolerate moderate siltation, but heavy siltation and acid runoff from regional surface mining for coal probably has eliminated many populations (Page and Burr 1991, 2011; Etnier and Starnes 1993). All of the range is in coal producing areas (Etnier and Starnes 1993).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Page and Burr (1991, 2011) stated that this species is declining, but Warren et al. (2000) categorized former subspecies sagitta as "currently stable" and former subspecies spilotum as "vulnerable" (may become endangered or threatened by relatively minor disturbances to its habitat or that deserves careful monitoring of its distribution and abundance). Jelks et al. (2008) categorized sagitta and spilotum separately as "vulnerable." This species is listed as "deemed in need of management" in Tennessee.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Habitat is in need of further protection from detrimental effects of coal mining, especially in the upper Kentucky River system.

Distribution
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Global Range: (1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)) Range includes the upper Cumberland River drainage, Kentucky and Tennessee (Page and Burr 2011). Occurrences in eastern tributaries to the Big South Fork of the Cumberland system in Kentucky and Tennessee are believed to be a result of stream alterations (Etnier and Starnes 1993).

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 KY, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
KY Bell (21013), Harlan (21095), Knox (21121), Letcher (21133), McCreary (21147), Pike (21195), Pulaski (21199), Whitley (21235)
TN Blount (47009), Campbell (47013), Claiborne (47025), Scott (47151)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper Levisa (05070202)+, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+, Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+
06 Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small fish (darter).
Reproduction Comments: Spawning probably peaks in April when temperatures are near 13 C (Page 1983, Etnier and Starnes 1993). Age range of breeding females is 2-4 years (Bart and Page 1992), though 1-year-olds are generally sexually mature (Etnier and Starnes 1993).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Moderate gradient, Pool, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes rocky riffles and pools of headwaters, creeks, and small rivers (Page and Burr 2011). Juveniles and sometimes adults are found in larger streams such as the main channel of Cumberland River in Kentucky; generally this darter occurs in slow to moderate current in cool, sluggish pools or areas above and below riffles (avoids swift currents) over bedrock, rubble, cobble, and pebble, often interspersed with sandy areas (Burr and Warren 1986, Etnier and Starnes 1993). It is common only in intermittently flowing first- or second-order creeks, preferring protective stones near the bank, or ledges and recesses at stream margins (Kuehne and Barbour 1983, Etnier and Starnes 1993). Spawning occurs apparently in riffles in water about 5-15 centimeters deep (Kuehne and Barbour 1983) or under or near rocks in raceways (Etnier and Starnes 1993).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly larval mayflies, blackflies, midges, stoneflies, beetles, and caddisflies, plus copepods and crayfishes (Page 1983, Etnier and Starnes 1993).
Length: 8 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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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: 19Jan2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G., and B. Qureshi
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 19Jan2012
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.

  • Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee. xiv + 681 pp.

  • Etnier, David A. and Wayne C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 681 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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