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1 December 2010 Life-History Aspects of the Cherokee Darter, Etheostoma scotti (Actinopterygii: Percidae), an Imperiled Species in Northern Georgia
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Abstract

Aspects of the life-history of Etheostoma scotti (Cherokee Darter) were investigated using 12 monthly collections from Hickory Log Creek (Etowah River Drainage) in Cherokee County, GA. Specimens were collected from riffles, runs, and pools with slow current and examined to illuminate age, growth, food habits, and reproductive characters. The bulk of the diet consisted of Chironomidae larvae, with mollusks, detritus, branchiopods, and other aquatic insects as smaller components. Peak feeding occurred in late winter and spring and immediately preceded gamete production for a single spring spawning season peaking in April. Gravid females, collected from March to June, contained 2–256 mature oocytes, ranging from 0.7 to 1.2 mm in diameter. Sexual maturity occurred at age 1, and maximum age was 2 years. The largest specimen collected was a male 49.1 mm SL and 2.0 g total weight. Males were larger than females and were outnumbered 1:1.56. Only about half of the adult-sized males appeared to be in nuptial condition during the spawning season in the study population. These findings provide a greater understanding of the biology of this imperiled species and may allow for more focused and effective conservation efforts.

Stephanie D. Barton and Steven L. Powers "Life-History Aspects of the Cherokee Darter, Etheostoma scotti (Actinopterygii: Percidae), an Imperiled Species in Northern Georgia," Southeastern Naturalist 9(4), (1 December 2010). https://doi.org/10.1656/058.009.0404
Published: 1 December 2010
JOURNAL ARTICLE
12 PAGES


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