The redfin darter, Etheostoma whipplei (Percidae: subgenus Oligocephalus) has been the subject of several taxonomic treatments over the past 50 years. At the present, two subspecies are recognized: Etheostoma whipplei whipplei in the Ozark and Ouachita Highlands and Etheostoma whipplei artesiae on the Gulf Coastal Plain. We examined variation in meristics and pigmentation to assess the distinctiveness of eastern populations of E. w. artesiae. The results indicated that E. w. artesiae differs significantly from E. w. whipplei in meristics and features of male breeding pigmentation. We conclude that all populations currently recognized as E. w. artesiae should be elevated to full species status.
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Vol. 2001 • No. 3