Etheostoma fonticola 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Percidae

Scientific Name: Etheostoma fonticola (Jordan & Gilbert, 1886)
Common Name(s):
English Fountain Darter

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-12-12
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
This species is listed as Endangered because it occurs in only two locations, has an extent of occurrence of less than 100 sq km and area of occupancy of approximately 10 sq km, and faces declines in habitat quality/quantity caused by habitat dewatering and non-native species.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This darter is endemic to the upper San Marcos and Comal rivers in central Texas (Hubbs et al. 2008). San Marcos and Comal rivers are spring-fed streams deriving from the Edwards Aquifer. The original population in the Comal River was extirpated in the mid-1950s when Comal Springs ceased to flow (Hubbs et al. 2008). A population from San Marcos was reintroduced into Comal Springs during the early 1970s (Hubbs et al. 2008).

During periods of low flows, the National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center in San Marcos, Texas, serves as a refugium (Bonner and McDonald 2005).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by two occurrences.

Population in the San Marcos River watershed was estimated in the 1970s at 103,000 (Schenck and Whiteside 1976). Linam et al. (1993) estimated the upper Comal River population at 168,078 individuals (Linam et al. 1993).

USFWS (1990) categorized the status as "unknown." Based on USFWS (1996), trend must be regarded as unknown but possibly declining.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat includes vegetated springs, pools, and runs of effluent rivers (Page and Burr 2011). This fish inhabits springs and spring-fed streams in dense beds of aquatic plants (particularly filamentous algae) growing close to bottom, which is normally mucky. It prefers clear, quiet, warm backwaters. Eggs are apparently laid on dead leaves, twigs, rocks, algae, or similar objects.
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Primary threats include:
  1. Reduction of spring flows that may result from drought and water withdrawals from the Edwards Aquifer (Bonner and McDonald 2005)
  2. Negative impacts of introduced non-native species (a parasitic, non-native trematode afflicts the Comal population, but the population impact is uncertain).
USFWS (1990) stated that the species is also threatened by a severe loss of vegetation in Comal Springs, possibly caused by an exotic snail (USFWS 1990).

Jelks et al. (2008) categorized this species as Endangered, due to:
  1. Present or threatened destruction, modification, or reduction of  habitat or range
  2. Disease or parasitism
  3. Other natural or anthropogenic factors that affect a taxon's existence, including impacts of  nonindigenous organisms, hybridization, competition, and/or predation
  4. Restricted range

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Better information on current distribution, abundance, and trend is needed. Important aquifers need to be identified and protected.

Citation: NatureServe. 2013. Etheostoma fonticola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T8114A13363121. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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