NANFA-- The dreaded darter ID

Bruce Stallsmith (
Mon, 02 Oct 2000 18:10:17 EDT

I have a question of darter minutiae... 2 Saturdays ago we went to Mountain
Fork of the Flint River here in Madison County, Alabama. We found at least 5
different species of darters in this stream--rainbow, greenside, Tennessee
snubnose, Black snubnose, and stripetail (Eth. kennicotti). I kept a very
large "stripetail" and once home I realized that it lacks one diagnostic
trait that separates Eth. kennicotti from Eth. flabellare, the fantail
darter. This trait is a submarginal black band on the first dorsal fin. This
specimen has a fairly deep red band at the top of the first dorsal but no
black beneath it. My question to the assembled darter experts is, do
kennicotti invariably have a black submarginal band, or have I found maybe
my first flabellare out of this stream? Mettee et al. in "Fishes of Alabama"
speak of flabellare being found in the Paint Rock system just to the east,
and in Limestone and Lauderdale counties to the west; but not in the Flint

As always, thanks a bunch!

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL
"Alabama--where we have a chance to vote and remove the anti-miscegenation
clause from the state constitution in the year 2000!"

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