Crown Darter (Etheostoma corona)


The Crown Darter is restricted to a single watershed in the middle Tennessee River Drainage in Alabama and Tennessee. Although their distribution is small, they are locally abundant where they occur. They are found in cobble pools and adjacent riffles of smaller streams. Like other members of the subgenus Catonotus, this species spawns on the underside of flat rocks. In this group, males of some species have round structures on the rays of their second dorsal fin that are hypothesized to serve as an “egg-mimic” to attract females for spawning. As the common name suggests, their second dorsal fin has a golden edge and knobs that resemble a crown.