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stripetail darter

stripetail darter (Etheostoma kennicotti) Photo © Lance Merry

Features and Behaviors

The stripetail darter has black bands on the second dorsal, caudal and sometimes pectoral fins. The dorsal fin of the adult has a gold knob on the tip of each spine. Typically, there are seven dorsal spines. The back is tan to yellow with six or seven brown saddles. There are dark blotches on the upper sides with larger dark blotches further down. The lateral line is incomplete. The stripetail darter may grow to three and one-fourth inches in length.

In Illinois, it is found in tributaries to the Ohio River in the southeastern part of the state. It lives in rocky pools of creeks and small rivers where it feeds on small crustaceans and insects.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native