Etheostoma variatum - Kirtland, 1840
Variegate Darter
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Etheostoma variatum Kirtland, 1840 (TSN 168446)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102018
Element Code: AFCQC02830
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 variatum
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 25Jan2012
Global Status Last Changed: 24Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widely distributed and abundant in the Ohio River basin, but pollution has caused disappearance from some areas.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (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 Indiana (S1), Kentucky (S4S5), New York (S2), Ohio (S4), Pennsylvania (S5), Virginia (S1), West Virginia (S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species is widespread in the upper and middle Ohio River basin, exclusive of the New River drainage, southwestern New York, western Pennsylvania, and western Virginia (very rare) to southern Indiana and eastern Kentucky; it occurs only below Kanawha Falls in the Kanawha River system, West Virginia (Page and Burr 2011).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).
Lee et al. (1980) mapped about 150 collection sites.

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but apparently quite large. This species is common, sometimes abundant in clear streams (Page and Burr 2011).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: These darters have disappeared in areas of heavy domestic, industrial, or agricultural pollution (Lee et al. 1980). In some areas, threats include siltation and acidification of streams from coal mining wastes (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but probably relatively stable or slowly declining.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Protect habitat from excessive pollution by limiting domestic and industrial sewage input. Maintain a vegetative buffer zone between agricultural lands and the stream.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) This species is widespread in the upper and middle Ohio River basin, exclusive of the New River drainage, southwestern New York, western Pennsylvania, and western Virginia (very rare) to southern Indiana and eastern Kentucky; it occurs only below Kanawha Falls in the Kanawha River system, West Virginia (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: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States IN, KY, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IN Benton (18007)*, Clark (18019), Crawford (18025), Dearborn (18029), Franklin (18047), Harrison (18061), Union (18161)*, Washington (18175)*
NY Cattaraugus (36009), Chautauqua (36013)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003), French (05010004)+, Clarion (05010005), Middle Allegheny-Redbank (05010006), Kiskiminetas (05010008), Lower Allegheny (05010009), Tygart Valley (05020001), Upper Monongahela (05020003), Cheat (05020004), Lower Monongahela (05020005), Upper Ohio (05030101), Mahoning (05030103)*, Upper Ohio-Wheeling (05030106), Little Muskingum-Middle Island (05030201), Upper Ohio-Shade (05030202), Little Kanawha (05030203), Hocking (05030204)*, Tuscarawas (05040001)*, Mohican (05040002), Walhonding (05040003), Muskingum (05040004), Licking (05040006)*, Greenbrier (05050003), Gauley (05050005), Upper Kanawha (05050006), Elk (05050007), Lower Kanawha (05050008), Coal (05050009), Upper Scioto (05060001), Lower Scioto (05060002), Paint (05060003)*, Upper Guyandotte (05070101), Lower Guyandotte (05070102), Tug (05070201), Upper Levisa (05070202), Lower Levisa (05070203), Big Sandy (05070204), Upper Great Miami (05080001)*, Lower Great Miami (05080002)*, Whitewater (05080003)+, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101), Twelvepole (05090102), Little Scioto-Tygarts (05090103), Little Sandy (05090104), Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201), Little Miami (05090202), Licking (05100101), North Fork Kentucky (05100201), Middle Fork Kentucky (05100202), South Fork Kentucky (05100203), Upper Kentucky (05100204), Lower Kentucky (05100205), Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+*, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+*, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+
+ 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: Spawns April-May in Ohio, probably May and June in Pennsylvania. Eggs hatch in 13-14 days at 10-22 C. Sexually mature in 2 years, lives to maximum of 3+ years.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Most large individuals move downstream in late summer and fall, some as far as 5 km (Kuehne and Barbour 1983).
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, High gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes swift gravel and rubble riffles of small to medium rivers (Page and Burr 2011); typically this darter occurs in rubble-boulder-gravel riffles with some sand; individuals move downstream to deep riffles and pools for winter. Eggs are laid in sand and small gravel on the downstream side of large rocks near riffles.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Diet includes mainly immature benthic insects (Lee et al. 1980) and water mites.
Length: 7 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: 25Jan2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G., and R. Jennings
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 25Jan2012
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.

  • 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.

  • Cooper, E.L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania. Penn State Univ. Press, University Park, PA.

  • Eaton, S.W., R.J. Nemecek and M.M. Kozubowski. 1982. Fishes of the Allegheny River above Kinzua Dam. New York Fish and Game J. 29(2):189-198.

  • 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.

  • May, B. 1969. Observations on the biology of the variegated darter, Etheostoma variatum (Kirtland). Ohio Journal of Science 69: 85-92.

  • Natural Resources Commission. 2014. Roster of Indiana Animals, Insects, and Plants That Are Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened or Rare. Information Bulletin #2 (Sixth Amendment. 20pp.

  • 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.

  • Nemecek, R. J. 1980. The comparative ecology of three species of darters in the genus Etheostoma: E. variatum, E. caeruleum, E. zonale in the Allegheny River drainage of western New York. Ph.D. Thesis, St. Bonaventure University 175 pp.

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 1987. Fish species lists for New York State watersheds, by county. Biological Survey Unit, Albany, NY.

  • 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.

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

  • Smith, C.L. 1985. The Inland Fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY. 522pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • 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.

  • Cooper, E. L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park. 243 pp.

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

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

  • Smith, C. L. 1983. Fishes of New York (maps and printout of a draft section on scarce fishes of New York). Unpublished draft.

  • 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.

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

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