Greenside Darter

Greenside Darter Etheostoma blennioides

Type of Animal:

Riffles of small-medium rivers/lake shores/creeks/clear swift to moderate current streams, vegetated areas in small-medium rivers & lake shores, lake shores, swift waters over large boulders/large rubble, river/stream/lake bottoms in deeply ridged habitats of cobble/loose boulders covered by green algae in clear moderate to fast-moving waters, turbid rivers, boulders/submerged logs in pools w/ little current, silt-free pools w/ steady current, shallow pools w/ aquatic vegetation, deeper pools

Ranges from E Kansas/E Oklahoma in W through Missouri/Arkansas through S Great Lakes region, & Appalachia E to New York, Pennsylvania, & Mid-Atlantic Region. Also found in S Ontario.

Small fish w/ elongated body, long round snout, greenish-brown dorsum w/ 6-7 dark saddles & dark green sides, breeding males have bright green anal/pectoral fins w/ some black on head as well as bright blue-green appearing on chest/head, females/nonbreeding males/juveniles fairly drab in coloration.

Insects, insect larvae, crustaceans, snails, limpets, water mites, leeches, oligochaete worms, fish eggs, carrion

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums, zoos, & aquaculture. Population monitoring in parts of range.

Small schools, breeding males defend territories during breeding season

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: School
Male: 0.4 oz
Female: 0.3 oz
10-12 days

Life Span:
3-4 years

Body Length:
Male: 4.5 in
Female: 2.5 in

Tail Length:
Male: 0.25 in
Female: 0.2 in

Main predators of adults are bass, trout, piscivorous birds, stonecats, bluegill, sunfish, northern water snakes, & snapping turtles. Many fish prey on young. Adults will eat eggs of own species.
Breed from February-June.
Eggs deposited under rocks or at base of aquatic vegetation.
Maturity reached at a year old.
Active during the day (diurnal).
Fry live off yolk sacs for 1st 6 days of life.
While males are territorial, females choose spawning site.
Male territories often only 3.28 ft in diameter & often less than that.
These fish are rather secretive.
Camouflage comes in handy for avoiding predators.
Named for their darting movements.

Fun Fact(s):
Like all darters, they have reduced swim bladders to keep them from being swept downstream.
Darters will freeze to avoid predation.
These fish have been used for scientific investigations regarding food resource partitioning & habitat selectivity due to studies on similar species.

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