• Family: Percidae (Perches and darters)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 2.5-3.5 inches, can reach 4 inches.
• Typical Foods: Insect larvae, crustaceans, and other aquatic invertebrates.
The slenderhead darter has a pointed snout and a rather long narrow body. They have 14-22 dark blotches down the center of their back. They also have a row of 11-16 blotches down their sides that are taller than they are wide and connected by a thin lateral stripe. The first dorsal fin has a dark brown band near the base and an orange band near the outer edge. The second dorsal fin and tail have many small spots often forming rows. The rest of the fins are transparent. Their over all body color is a light tan with a cream colored belly. On breeding males the orange band on the dorsal fin is more intensely colored and thicker. Males also can have a dark dusky coloration to their body which often hides many of the blotches on their back and sides.
Habitat and Habits
Slenderhead darters are found in areas of moderate current over sand and gravel bottoms. They are found in the larger rivers of southern Ohio including the Scioto, Muskingum, Hocking, Little Miami, and Great Miami Rivers.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Slenderhead darters spawn between late April and early June. They lay their eggs in riffles burying them in sand or gravel. They provide no further parental care for the eggs or young.