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Tessie and Swamp ranges.

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#1 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 14 February 2016 - 03:22 PM

Most darters with a large range take advantage of a single river drainage. For some reason though the tesselated and swamp darter took advantage of stream capture and such and expanded their range up and down the east coast from New England to Florida. What is it about these two darters that let the. Spread so far when other species could not?

#2 taldridge0321

  • NANFA Member
  • Pigeon Watershed, North Carolina

Posted 16 July 2016 - 07:27 PM

That is interesting, last week I found a quiet stream near the Pee Dee River in NC. I found a large group of Darters and ended up catching four. Three were Tessies and the other a Swamp Darter. I have pictures in my albums if you want to take a look.

#3 fundulus

  • Global Moderator

Posted 17 July 2016 - 12:06 PM

Partially it's a matter of chance. Most of New England wasn't ice-free until about 12,000 years ago so all of the freshwater fish fauna is the result of recent recolonizations. At that time or somewhat earlier there may have been good habitat available for darters way to the east and south of the modern shoreline because sea level was about 100 meters or more lower than today, they may have been able to retreat with that ancient shoreline.
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#4 Dustin

  • Forum Staff

Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:58 AM

I think it also has to do with the generalist nature of both species.  They both seem to be able to adapt to different habitats.

Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC

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