About This Animal
SIZE: 7.1 in (18 cm)
RANGE: Upper Tennessee River drainage in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia
HABITAT: Clear, fairly deep, rocky pools
DIET: Aquatic insects
ON EXHIBIT: Tennesse River Gallery in River Journey
This is one of Tennessee's largest darters. Because of their large size and beautiful coloration, they are perfect animals to observe by snorkeling. They prefer fast moving, very cold water. Unlike most other darters this species spends most of its time swimming in the water column and not on the bottom.
The tangerine darter is considered a species of special concern throughout its range. In Tennessee it is listed as in need of management and in Georgia it is listed as threatened. For this reason, fish that are on display at the Tennessee Aquarium of this species come from North Carolina where the populations are very strong or from captive breeders.