The upper Tennessee River drainage populations of Etheostoma tippecanoe Jordan and Evermann were recently elevated to specific status with the description of the Golden Darter, Etheostoma denoncourti Stauffer and van Snik. In the description, the Duck River system was included as part of the range of E. denoncourti, although no specimens from that system were examined. Evaluation of the taxonomic status of the Duck River system population of E. denoncourti was conducted using meristic, morphometric, and nuptial coloration characters. The Duck River population was compared with other Tennessee River drainage populations of E. denoncourti and with Cumberland and Ohio drainage populations of E. tippecanoe. The Duck River population appears to be unique based strictly on meristics; however, it is similar to other E. denoncourti populations by nuptial coloration, presence of cheek scales behind the eye, and the complete separation of the posterior nasal openings from the interorbital canal. Etheostoma denoncourti is rediagnosed, and current status and distributional information are provided for both E. tippecanoe and E. denoncourti.
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Vol. 2000 • No. 4