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Darter ID help - Kentucky Coastal Plain region


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#1 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 12 November 2016 - 11:43 AM

Recently sampled a slough in far western Kentucky, not far from the Ohio/Mississipi River convergence. This is very much a swampy wetland with seasonal connection to the main river.

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In addition to being a warmouth haven, I found there was an abundance of this darter.



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I have wondered if this could be a bluntnose darter but really not sure since there are similarities to the Johnny darter as well. Location of sampling would be the preferred habitat of bluntnose though from what I have read.

Appreciate any input the forum may have on this fish.

#2 gerald

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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 12 November 2016 - 12:09 PM

Looks like one of the swamp darter relatives (Hololepis, a subgenus of Etheostoma), based on the high-arched lateral line just below the front dorsal fin.  Maybe Slough darter?  Check which others of that group might be in your area.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#3 Matt DeLaVega

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  • Ohio

Posted 12 November 2016 - 06:55 PM

Slough darter is probably right on. I have seen them in extreme southern Illinois which is basically the same region. looks right to me.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#4 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 14 November 2016 - 11:25 AM

Thanks fellas. Slough darters are definitely in the region I sampled per multiple sources and not a threatened species here in Kentucky. These specimens were fairly small, a little over an inch, so probably juveniles. Next time I'm there I may take a few home and see if they color up as they get older. Again thanks.

#5 smbass

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 11:42 PM

Looks to m like you have two species there... First one is Slough Darter and last two photos look like Cypress Darter. Any sunfish other than warmouth?


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#6 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 16 November 2016 - 03:47 PM

There were some decent numbers of central longear and a few bluegill but warmouth still probably outnumbered them 4:1. Mostly where I was sampling was stumps and brush near the shoreline so there may have been some sampling bias for that species. Pirate perch were an occasional find as well in these areas. Apparently there are bantam and orangespotted sunfish in these sloughs too but I didn't find any on this day. Maybe next time.

#7 dac343

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 12:54 PM

I agree with slough and cypress darters.  Did you by chance come across any Elassoma zonatum while sampling out there?  Assuming you were out near Wickliffe?  I was out that way this past summer collecting for thesis work in Stovall Creek area.  Surprised you didn't come across Bantam's.   


David Cravens

#8 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 18 November 2016 - 03:04 PM

Yeah this is in the Wickliffe area. Did not find Bantams but I spoke to someone who has collected them in these backwater sloughs so I am sure they are there, just didn't happen to run across them. Next time I go out this way I am going to spend more time in this area and dig a little deeper. I feel that I have only scratched the surface as to what is here species wise. You would think there would be some Elassoma zonatum too as this is ideal habitat for them but I didn't find any either. Will definitely post a pic if I do in the future.

Have not sampled Stovall Creek as of yet but have sampled many of the neighboring creeks in the region. There have been banded pygmys collected from Stovall in years past. Curious if you found any there.

#9 gerald

gerald
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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 18 November 2016 - 05:50 PM

For Elassoma try leaf litter and plant beds in shallow water along the shoreline.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#10 smbass

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 10:41 AM

You said you got central longears but could they have been western dollar sunfish, habitat seems very wrong for longears and exactly right for dollars?


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#11 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 02 December 2016 - 05:52 PM

Well I had a little time today so I went back to this spot and dip netted the shoreline for around an hour. Most of the fish were buried deep in leaf litter. Water temp was mid to upper 40s. A few pics, including some sunfish I would appreciate some ID input on if possible.

Better pics of slough darters, green bands more visible here


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Some sunfish:

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Last two were really small fish, maybe an inch at most. Appreciate input.

#12 Michael Wolfe

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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 02 December 2016 - 07:24 PM

redears (checkerboard pattern and the red/orange earspot) and greens to me (although I wont be surprised for others to use the H word)


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#13 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 02 December 2016 - 09:40 PM

That is what I think too mostly. First three redear. Fourth bluegill. Last, seems a bit greenish to me. Maybe just the angle. Maybe the dreaded Hybrid.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#14 Dustin

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 10:50 AM

Agreed. Red ears and greens.

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


#15 smbass

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 08:54 PM

Yes redears and if the last two are really tiny I would say just greens not hybrids.


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#16 itsme

itsme
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Posted 09 December 2016 - 02:40 PM

Might be Backwater Longears there.  Not in these photos, but maybe in the water?



#17 itsme

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 02:42 PM

I agree with the ID's:  Slough, Cypress, Redear, Green Sunfish, likely hybrid on the last one.



#18 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 11 December 2016 - 12:09 AM

The Longears I caught here were not in great numbers at all compared to other Lepomis species. However, they looked like the Central Longears that are really common in some neighboring creeks that are part of this floodplain so I didn't bother with pics. I was presuming that was what they were even though it's not their typical habitat per se. I am unsure if the Backwater variant is in this region or not but I will surely take a closer look and/or pic next time I get one.

Thanks folks for the ID help.




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