Tessellated Darter

Tessellated Darter
Etheostoma olmstedi

Darter

The Tessellated Darter is a bottom dwelling fish was once fairly common in the Patuxent River at King's Landing.  Their numbers have declined sharply over the past decade, possibly due to excessive sediment deposits on the river bottom.  Darters are a very diverse group of fish with many varieties distributed throughout the freshwater streams, creeks and rivers of North America.  The Tessellated Darter is the only species of this group that has ever been recorded at King's Landing.  Darters feed on insects and small crustaceans.  The darters lay eggs beneath an object on the river bottom such as a rock, a submerged log, or other cover.  The male drives off any invading members of his species that might try to claim a prime nesting site for his own.  Darters can be identified by their long, stream-lined body and large pectoral fins that extend out from the side of the body like extended arms.

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