Watercress Darter (Etheostoma nuchale)


The Watercress Darter is a federally endangered species only native to five springs and associated spring runs, all in the Black Warrior River System in the vicinity of Birmingham, Alabama. This darter typically lives and spawns in aquatic vegetation. Because they live in a relatively constant temperature year-round, Watercress Darters spawn in all months, but peak spawning is in the spring like most other darters. A distinguishing character for the Watercress Darter (and other species in the Etheostoma swaini species group) is a depigmented stripe on their back in front of the dorsal fin.