Snail Darter (Percina tanasi)


The Snail Darter is a federally threatened species found in the middle and upper Tennessee River in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. They live over gravel substrate in riffles and runs of creeks to large rivers. As the common name suggests, Snail Darters eat snails. Snail Darters are perhaps the most infamous member of the darter family due to a long legal battle under the Endangered Species Act to prevent the construction of Tellico Dam due to the presence of this rare fish. While the dam was ultimately constructed, Snail Darters were found in additional localities and have expanded their range in recent decades.

    (Articles, if available online, are hyperlinked)
  • Hickman, G.D., and R.B. Fitz. 1978. A report on the ecology and conservation of the snail darter (Percina tanasi Etnier).
  • Etnier, D.A. 1976. A new percid fish from the Little Tennessee River, Tennessee. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington D.C. Vol. 88:469-488.

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