Etheostoma tuscumbia - Gilbert and Swain, 1887
Tuscumbia Darter
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Etheostoma tuscumbia Gilbert and Swain in Gilbert, 1887 (TSN 168445)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.106174
Element Code: AFCQC02820
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 tuscumbia
Taxonomic Comments: Highly distinctive species in monotypic subgenus (Starnes 1995). As presently circumscribed, E. tuscumbia may represent multiple species (Boschung and Mayden 2004). Further study is needed.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 24Jan2012
Global Status Last Changed: 24Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Narrow range in springs along the Tennessee River in Alabama; extirpated in Tennessee, extirpated from roughly half of known sites in Alabama; populations are vulnerable to alteration of spring heads.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2 (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 Alabama (S2), Tennessee (SX)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: VU - Vulnerable
American Fisheries Society Status: Threatened (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The range encompasses springs along the southern bend of the Tennessee River in northern Alabama (Boschung and Mayden 2004) and (formerly) south-central Tennessee (Etnier and Starnes 1993).

Area of Occupancy: 11-100 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Area of occupancy may not exceed 20 square kilometers, assuming fewer than 20 extant populations averaging not more than 1 square kilometer of occupied habitat (based on a 1 km x 1 km grid).

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Boschung and Mayden (2004) mapped 25 collection sites and indicated that the species has been extirpated in 12 of those sites.

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown. This species can be locally numerous in favorable habitat (common in a few springs).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The primary threat to this species is human modification of spring heads. Extirpations have occurred in Alabama as a result of vegetated spring heads being converted to fishing ponds or treated with herbicides to remove vegetation (Boschung and Mayden 2004). Former habitat in Tennessee was inundated by Pickwick Reservoir (Etnier and Starnes 1993).

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: Current trend is unknown.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species evidently has been extirpated from roughly 50% of the known collection localities (Etnier and Starnes 1993, Boschung and Mayden 2004).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Springs in the Tennessee River system should be searched for additional populations.

Protection Needs: Occupied springs need protection from herbiciding and impoundment.

Distribution
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Global Range: (1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)) The range encompasses springs along the southern bend of the Tennessee River in northern Alabama (Boschung and Mayden 2004) and (formerly) south-central Tennessee (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 AL, TNextirpated

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Colbert (01033), Lauderdale (01077), Lawrence (01079), Limestone (01083), Madison (01089), Morgan (01103)*
ID Adams (16003), Bingham (16011), Bonneville (16019), Caribou (16029), Elmore (16039), Fremont (16043), Gem (16045), Gooding (16047), Idaho (16049), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Lemhi (16059), Madison (16065), Owyhee (16073), Payette (16075), Shoshone (16079), Teton (16081), Twin Falls (16083)
TN Hardin (47071)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
06 Wheeler Lake (06030002)+, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+
16 Middle Bear (16010202)+
17 Upper Coeur D'alene (17010301)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Palisades (17040104)+, Salt (17040105)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Teton (17040204)+, Blackfoot (17040207)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Payette (17050122)+, Weiser (17050124)+, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+
+ 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: At least some females are sexually mature in one year (Bart and Page 1992).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Habitat Comments: Habitat is essentially restricted to vegetated spring pools and runs with slow current; usually associated with watercress (Nasturtium officionale) or other aquatic plants or algae over clean substrates of fine gravel, sand, and silt; water is generally clear in high-quality habitats; water temperature in occupied springs usually is 15-17 C (Etnier and Starnes 1993, Jones et al. 1993, Boschung and Mayden 2004, Page and Burr 2011). Although the species has been found around small (four to five feet high) dams and small impoundments (beaver ponds), larger structures pose a barrier to dispersal (Kuhajda, pers. comm., 1998). Warm summer month temperatures in surrounding spring waters are also thought to preclude dispersal (Kuhajda, pers. comm., 1998).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds opportunistically; amphipods, snails, and midge larvae were important foods in one study; feeding is reduced in winter (Kuehne and Barbour 1983).
Phenology Comments: Reduced feeding activity in winter (Kuehne and Barbour 1983).
Length: 5 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Monitoring Requirements: Monitor key spring localities for trend analysis.
Biological Research Needs: Detailed life history studies are needed.
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: 24Jan2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Jan2012
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G., and L. Glass-Godwin

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

References
Help
  • Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. 2005. Conserving Alabama's wildlife: a comprehensive strategy. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Montgomery, Alabama. 303 pages. [Available online at http://www.dcnr.state.al.us/research-mgmt/cwcs/outline.cfm ]

  • 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.

  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 736 pages.

  • Center for Biological Diversity. 2010. Petition to list 404 aquatic, riparian and wetland species from the southeastern United States as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Petition submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • 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.

  • Jones, E. B. III, B. R. Kuhajda, and R. L. Mayden. 1993. Monitoring of Tuscumbia darter, Etheostoma tuscumbia, populations in the southern bend of the Tennessee River, Alabama, May-November 1993. Final report to Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Montgomery, Alabama.

  • 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.

  • Mayden, R. L. 1994. Tuscumbia darter population status. Annual report to Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Montgomery, Alabama.

  • Mettee, M.F., P. E. O'Neil, and J.M. Pierson. 1996. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Oxmoor House, Inc., Birmingham, Alabama. 820 pages.

  • Mirarchi, R. E., J. T. Garner, M. F. Mettee, and P.E. O'Neil, editors. 2004. Alabama wildlife. Volume 2. Imperiled aquatic mollusks and fishes. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 255 pages

  • Mirarchi, R.E., M.A. Bailey, J.T. Garner, T.M. Haggerty, T.L. Best, M.F. Mettee, and P. O'Neil, editors. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 4. Conservation and management recommendations for imperiled wildlife. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 221 pages.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • 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.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Pérez, 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. Sixth edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 29. 386 pages.

  • 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.

  • Starnes, W. C. 1995. Taxonomic validation for fish species on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Category 2 species list. 28 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2011m. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; partial 90-day finding on a petition to list 404 species in the southeastern United States as endangered or threatened. Federal Register 76(187):59836-59862.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 960 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.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996c. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia: Export of freshwater fish and mussel records from the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1997. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

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