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fringed darter

fringed darter (Etheostoma crossopterum) [female] Photo © Uland Thomas

fringed darter (Etheostoma crossopterum) [male] Photo © Lance Merry

Features and Behaviors

The second dorsal fin of the breeding male fringed darter has a white edge. There are three branches per fin ray with the third branch much longer than the second. The typical number of rays is 12-13. There are usually nine dorsal spines. This species may attain a length of up to four inches.

The fringed darter is present in the streams of the Cache River basin in southern Illinois where it lives in rocky pools and riffles. Small crustaceans and insects comprise its diet.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Percidae

Illinois Status: common, native