Tessellated Darter

(Etheostoma olmstedi)

A picture of a tessellated darter
A tessellated darter on the bottom of a river.

The Tessellated Darter is a bottom dwelling fish that is fairly common in the Patuxent River at King’s Landing.  Darters are a very diverse group of fish with many varieties distributed throughout the freshwater streams, creeks and rivers of North America.  The Tessellated Darter is the only species that has ever been recorded at King’s Landing.  Darters feed on insects and small crustaceans.  The darters lay eggs beneath an object on the river bottom such as a rock, a submerged log, or other cover.  The male drives off any invading members of his species that might try to take a nesting site for his own.  Darters can be identified by their long, stream-lined body and large pectoral fins that extend out from the side of the body like extended arms.

A graph of tessellated darters caught during 1997-2015
A graph of tessellated darters caught during 1997-2015