Western Sand Darter
Ammocrypta clara
About This Fish

The Western Sand Darter is a very widespread but patchily distributed species found in medium to large rivers of the Mississippi, Ohio, Sabine, and Neches river drainages from Minnesota and Wisconsin south to Texas and east to West Virginia. It is rare in the Tennessee River Drainage and extirpated from the Cumberland River Drainage. All Sand darters are translucent, so they blend in with the sand substrate they live upon. Western Sand Darters can be distinguished by a spine on the rear edge of the opercle (gill cover).


Thompson, P.A. 2016. Distribution and habitat use of the western sand darter (Ammocrypta clara) and the eastern sand darter (Ammocrypta pellucida) in the Elk River, West Virginia. Unplublished PhD diss. West Virginia University. https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7841&context=etd

Driver, L.J., and G.L. Adams. 2013. Life history and spawning behavior of the western sand darter (Ammocrypta clara) in Northeast Arkansas. The American Midland Naturalist. 170(2):199-213. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lucas_Driver/publication/264517569_Life_History_and_Spawning_Behavior_of_the_Western_Sand_Darter_Ammocrypta_clara_in_Northeast_Arkansas/links/5667490308ae8905db8ba4a6.pdf

Cincotta, D.A., and S.A. Welsh. 2010. Discovery of Ammocrypta clara (western sand darter) in the Upper Ohio River of West Virginia. The American Midland Naturalist. 163(2):318-326. https://bioone.org/journals/The-American-Midland-Naturalist/volume-163/issue-2/0003-0031-163.2.318/Discovery-of-Ammocrypta-clara-Western-Sand-Darter-in-the-Upper/10.1674/0003-0031-163.2.318.short

Tucker, J.K., and F.A. Cronin. 1997. The western sand darter (Ammocrypta clara) in Pool 26 of the Mississippi River in Missouri and Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois state academy of science. 89:221-224. http://ilacadofsci.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/089-19MS9503-print.pdf

Pezold, F., N.H. Douglas, and S.G. George. 1993. A status survey of the western sand darter, Ammocrypta clara, in the Big Black River, Mississippi. In Southeastern Fishes Council Proceedings. 27:2-6. https://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1243&context=sfcproceedings

Linder, A.D. 1959. The American percid fishes Ammocrypta clara Jordan and Meek and Ammocrypta pellucida (Baird). The Southwestern Naturalist. 176-184. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3669409