Miami Tours | Southern tessellated darter | everglades tours


The Southern tessellated darter is a small brown fish that can reach lengths of four

inches (10.2 centimeters). Both sexes have 9-11 dark “X” or “Y” shaped marks on their side.

Breeding males have a larger second dorsal fin than females (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001). 

The small geographic range and specific habitat occupied by this species in Florida suggests that it

may be vulnerable to human sources of pollution and habitat alteration. Specifically, non-point source

input (ex. pollution from runoff) of fine sediment into the Ocklawaha watershed in north-central Florida

could adversely affect tessellated darters by smothering available spawning habitat or suffocating existing

nests. Hybridization (combining varieties of species from one genus) could be a threat if other darter species

are introduced. Other threats include the construction of impoundments (ex. water reservoirs) along coastal

stream habitats as this can cause water quality alterations and habitat fragmentation.


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