Bluemask Darter (Etheostoma akatulo)


This federally endangered species is restricted to streams in the Caney Fork River System in north-central Tennessee. Bluemask Darters are threatened from reservoir construction, invasive species (Redbreast Sunfish, Lepomis auritus), an unusual habitat where rivers seasonally dry, and a small native range. The common name reflects the bright blue cheek and throat coloration (mask) that male Bluemask Darters develop during the breeding season.

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