SCIENTIFIC NAME: Etheostoma parvipinne

CHARACTERISTICS: The lateral line of the goldstripe darter in life appears as a thin golden stripe against a gray to brown body color. It may be interrupted by several dark brown distinct or mottled blotches along the side. Etheostoma parvipinne is a robust darter with a short, blunt snout and a deep caudal peduncle. Dark bars are present around the eye. Up to four vertically aligned spots are located at the caudal fine base. Vivid breeding colors are generally absent in this species, although males turn slightly golden brown and may be blotched or plain during the spawning season. See Gilbert (1887) for original description.

ADULT SIZE: 1.4 to 2.2 in (35 to 55 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: Etheostoma parvipinne found in Gulf slope drainages from Texas to Florida and north in the lower Mississippi River basin to Illinois. It is distributed throughout the Mobile basin below the Fall Line and sporadically above the Fall Line. We have widely scattered records from the Escatawpa east to the Chattahoochee River system. A distinct form of the E. parvipinne was discovered in the Turkey Creek system, Jefferson County, and should be described in the near future.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Goldstripe darters inhabit small sluggish streams, spring seepage areas, and small woodland tributaries adjacent to larger streams. Patches of wood debris, leaf material, mud, silt and sand appear to be favored microhabitats. Success in collecting this species is unpredictable because of its spotty occurrence and migratory habits. We have collected individuals in spawning condition around root masses, aquatic vegetation, and snags in swift chutes of Coastal Plain streams. The life history of the goldstripe darter in Alabama is not completely known. Spawning most likely occurs from mid-March through June based on our collections of gravid specimens. Preferred food items include midges, mayflies, blackflies, beetles, and microcrustaceans. The life span is two to three years.

REMARKS: The type locality for the goldstripe darter is a small spring tributary to the Black Warrior River near Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.    

ORGINAL DESCRIPTION: Gilbert and Swain described the goldstripe darter in 1887

Etheostoma means strain mouth, possibly referring to the small mouth.

Parvipinne means small-finned, in reference to the small pectoral fins.

The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.