The Coldwater Darter is found in springs, spring runs, and spring-fed creeks in the middle and upper Coosa River System in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. There is an undescribed form of this species further downstream in the middle Coosa River System that is found in spring-fed streams. These darters typically live and spawn in aquatic vegetation. Because they live in a relatively constant temperature year-round, Coldwater Darters spawn from March through September, whereas most darters only spawn in the spring. A distinguishing character for Coldwater Darters (and other species in the Gulf Darter species group) is a depigmented stripe on their back in front of the dorsal fin.