Re: NANFA-- puzzling blackfin darter

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sun, 08 Oct 2000 17:15:26 EDT

Hey Mark, I might have to put you on my list of Heroes of the People. My
mystery darter does indeed have an upturned mouth, relatively large anyway.
So we can probably rule out Eth. nigrum, and Eth. nigripinne is strengthened
as the likely species. Also, most importantly, I just re-read Page & Burr's
description of the blackfin darter and they DO mention that "1st dorsal fin
of large male has thin bright orange band. Usually 8 dorsal spines." There
are indeed 8 dorsal spines, and this (large, ~3 in.) darter has a thin
red/orange band.

I was also just reminded today by another faculty member here at UAH that a
grad student some time ago did a darter survey in the greater Madison County
area for his Masters project. It's not part of our more modern bound theses,
but I gotta track down his advisor who allegedly has a copy of it. The
ex-student still lives in & around Huntsville so I should also try to track
him down. He apparently went to Mountain Fork same as I did, repeatedly, and
did the legwork to figure out what species he found (kinda like we're doing

Thanks to all for helping to brainstorm this ID. "It takes a village to ID a
darter." At least I knew it wasn't just another Eth. kennicotti!

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

>From: Mark B <>
>Subject: Re: NANFA-- puzzling blackfin darter
>Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2000 15:46:37 -0400
>At 12:33 PM -0400 10/8/00, Bruce Stallsmith wrote:
> >Jay, you beat me to it, I had just scanned this photo before I read your
> >message... OK, this is pretty much the fish I have with the major
> >that the first dorsal fin is red on the top half, rather than black as in
> >the photo. The only other possibility I can offer is that my fish is a
> >Johnny Darter, Eth. nigrum, which has been reported from the Paint Rock
> >River system but not the Flint. Johnny Darters also seem to be a variable
> >species; would some of them have a red first dorsal? That is the trait
> >keeps hanging me up.
> >>Here's a scan of the blackfin darter Etheostoma nigripinne from Fishes
> >>AB:
>I would question the color representation in this photo since the fish
>appears to have been preserved prior to the photo. The most obvious
>difference between the pictured fish and E nigrum would be the mouth -
>nigrum has a small, downturned mouth, versus nigripinne's larger, upturned
>mouth. The short rays of the first dorsal on the pictured nigripinne seem
>distinctive also.
>Mark Binkley
>Columbus Ohio USA <))><

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,