The relict darter, Etheostoma chienense (Percidae): status review of a Kentucky endemic

  • Authors: Warren, Melvin L.; Burr, Brooks M.; Taylor, Christopher A.
  • Publication Year: 1994
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Trans. Ky. Acad. Sci., 55(1-2), p. 20-27


The distribution, microhabitat affinity and availability, and conservative estimates of numbers of Etheostoma chienense, the relict darter, were assessed. All known historical sites and sites in nearby drainages that might harbor the species were surveyed. The relict darter is endemic to the Bayou du chien drainage, Graves and Hickman counties, Kentucky, where it is most abundant in Jackson Creek and a limited reach of upper Bayou du Chien near the town of Water Valley. The species has a decided affinity for undercut banks and adjacent narrow (<4 ,), shallow (<25 cm), moderately flowing (<0.3 ,/sec) runs underlain with sandy gravel. At the 5 sites yielding the species, estimates of the extent of suitable habitat ranged from <5 to 110 m of stream. Suitable cover and spawning habitat were deemed primary limiting factors for the species. Given its limited distribution and apparent dependence on one spawning area, the relict darter is extremely vulnerable to anthropogenic activities.

  • Citation: Warren, Melvin L., Jr.; Burr, Brooks M.; Taylor, Christopher A. 1994. The relict darter, Etheostoma chienense (Percidae): status review of a Kentucky endemic. Trans. Ky. Acad. Sci., 55(1-2), p. 20-27
  • Posted Date: April 10, 2006
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.