Fish in Focus:  Orangethroat darter, Etheostoma spectabile



Orangethroat darter, Etheostoma spectabile
Garold W. Sneegas and Aquatic Kansas Images

Nikonos II, 35mm & Hydro Photo T1 close-up lens, f/16 1/60, Ikelite Ai substrobe, Fujichrome Velvia..

This image of two displaying male orangethroat darters with a female above, beginning to burrow underneath a rock, was taken in a tributary of Mill creek, Wabaunsee Co., KS.

orangethroat darter prefers the clear, shallow, gravel riffles of headwater streams. They readily adapt to the aquarium, especially aquariums equipped with powerheads. The range of the orangethroat darter is from the eastern border of Colorado to eastern Kentucky and from the southern Great Lakes to Texas. Orangethroat darters are a highly variable species. Five different subspecies have been identified in Arkansas alone.

The colors of breeding males can range from a mostly blue first dorsal fin with thin slanted bars on the sides to a mostly orange first dorsal fin with dark vertical bars on the sides.