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Not Sure about this Darter ID

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#1 Chasmodes

  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 01 September 2016 - 11:01 AM



At first I thought it might be a female rainbow darter, but now I'm not so sure.  When I saw it in the wild, that was my first thought, that it wasn't a greenside.  I was able to sneak up and get a quick photo before it spooked.  The snout doesn't seem blunt enough and the markings are not consistent with a greenside, both found in this drainage (Potomac).  But then again, the eyes don't match pictures of rainbow darter females that I see on the web (they are light, not dark).  What do you think?  Maybe the picture angle is giving me a false idea of what I'm looking at...


Regardless of the species, I like the picture :)

Kevin Wilson

#2 Chasmodes

  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 01 September 2016 - 11:06 AM

OK, I have an older photo that I took last year of a rainbow darter from the Potomac drainage that has the lighter color eyes.  



Kevin Wilson

#3 Dustin

  • Forum Staff

Posted 01 September 2016 - 12:36 PM

I agree that it appears to be a female rainbow.

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

#4 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 01 September 2016 - 12:40 PM

It does seem to have a bit more mottling, but very Rainbow-y. 

Nick L.

#5 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 01 September 2016 - 01:28 PM

I's agree with Female Rainbow

Josh Blaylock - Central KY
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#6 Chasmodes

  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 02 September 2016 - 07:42 AM

Thank you everyone!!!

Kevin Wilson

#7 PBK

  • NANFA Guest
  • Ohio

Posted 07 September 2021 - 01:16 PM

I’m thinking female orangethroat because of the prominent teardrop and the horizontal lines on the side.

#8 El Todd

El Todd
  • NANFA Member
  • Silver Spring Md

Posted 07 September 2021 - 08:24 PM

Whatever species it is it's probably collecting a pension by now.

#9 Chasmodes

  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 08 September 2021 - 09:24 AM

LOL Todd.  This fish pic was an underwater photo in a stream 15 minutes from my house.  Since then, I've collected them from that stream.  When the females get older and larger, they get a beautiful gold color to them.


Todd, Nick K. and I collected 5 species of darters recently including several female rainbow darters that looked just like this fish. We caught greensides, tessellated, rainbows and fantails.  And, the 5 species was, what we think, a protected one.  We didn't get a pic and should have taken one.  We think it was either a shield darter or a stripeback darter.  It was really cool looking.  We released it to catch/photo/release another day.

Kevin Wilson

#10 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
  • NANFA Guest
  • Ohio

Posted 24 September 2021 - 09:37 PM

I absolutely LOVE darters. Such gorgeous fish that I have been enamored with since I was a kid. I caught my first darter, a greenside in 1985 and had never dreamt that such colorful fish lived in our creeks and rivers. Sad thing is that anymore, I don't have time to get out and have been too depressed to get out. I want to catch a male rainbow as a companion for my female and some fantails for my tank, but while the body is strong, the spirit and will is weak. I have a divorce to contend with yet.... Maybe I'll get to keep my aquarium. [-o<

Anyhow, good fishin!


The Grumpy Old Man.

#11 Chasmodes

  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 27 September 2021 - 08:28 AM

Sounds like a good time to visit Maryland and do some collecting with Todd and me!


I go down to feed my fish for 10 minutes, and it always turns out to be an hour adventure LOL.

Kevin Wilson

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