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Longnose Darter

Longnose Darter.  Photo by Michael Gatlin
Michael Gatlin

State Endangered



Watch Field Notes: *Oklahoma's Darters* on YouTube.


The longnose darter is a small, slender member of the perch family that can reach four inches in length. It has an elongated head and snout, with an overall yellowish body color. Both sides have 10-14 dark vertical blotches. The dorsal fin of mature fish contains an orange, sub-marginal band.

Habitat degradation is the leading driver of this darter’s decline. Changes to river flows by reservoirs and impoundments has had the most influence. Other threats include stream-bank destabilization, water pollution, gravel mining, and agricultural runoff.


Approximately 4 inches long.


In Oklahoma, this fish is currently found in Lee Creek and Little Lee Creek in eastern Adair and Sequoyah counties. It also occurs in portions of western Arkansas. This fish historically occurred in the Poteau River and its major tributaries in LeFlore County. This species occupies streams and rivers with high water quality and a mixture of gravel and larger cobble (rock) substrate.

Life Cycle

Little is known about this darter’s life cycle, but it likely spawns in late winter or spring. This fish feeds on small aquatic invertebrates and is probably short-lived, with an average lifespan of one to two years. Past surveys and comparisons to closely-related species suggest this fish has probably always been uncommon in the creeks and rivers where it occurs.

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