The Fringed Darter is found in headwaters of many drainages, including tributaries to the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Mississippi rivers. They are found over cobble pools and adjacent riffles of smaller streams. Like other members of the subgenus Catonotus, Fringed Darters spawn 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 fringed appearance.