Diets of four sympatric species of Etheostoma (Pisces: Percidae) from southern Indiana: interspecific and intraspecific multiple comparisons

  • F. Douglas Martin
Part of the Developments in environmental biology of fishes book series (DEBF, volume 4)


The diets of four species of Etheostoma (E. spectabile, E. caeruleum, E. flabellare and E. nigrum) were investigated from ten Order 3 streams in the White River drainage of southern Indiana. All species fed mainly on insect larvae, primarily chironomids, ephemeropterans and plecopterans. Dietary proportions, as frequency of occurrence, were compared using cluster analysis based on matrices of values of Spearman rank correlation, Schoener index, Jaccard association, and Pearson’s r. Certain species and, in some cases, stream pairs within species clustered closely in all analyses or in three of the four. Most clusters do not show closer intraspecific than interspecific similarity and specific streams had more influence than species in forming the logic of some clusters. It can be concluded that these fishes are opportunistic predators.


Darters Feeding habits Stream invertebrates Order 3 streams Diet overlap Stream ecology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Adamson, S.W. & T.E. Wissing, 1977. Food habits and feeding periodicity of the rainbow, fantail and banded darters in Four Mile Creek. Ohio J. Sci. 77: 164–169Google Scholar
  2. Bortone, S.A., D. Siegel & J.L. Oglesby. 1981. The use of cluster analysis in comparing multi-source feeding studies. North-east Gulf Sci. 5: 81–86Google Scholar
  3. Braasch, M.E. & P.E. Smith. 1967. The life history of the slough darter, Etheostoma gracile (Pisces, Percidae). III. Nat. Hist. Surv. Biol. Notes 58: 1–12Google Scholar
  4. Burr, B.M. & L.M. Page. Life history of the cypress darter, Etheostoma proeliare, in Max Creek, Illinois, III. Nat. Hist. Surv. Biol. Notes 106: 1–15Google Scholar
  5. Burr, B.M. & L.M. Page. 1979. The life history of the least darter, Etheostoma microperca, in the Iroquois River. 111. Nat. Hist. Surv. Biol. Notes 112: 1–15Google Scholar
  6. Cordes, L.E. & L.M. Page. 1980. Feeding chronology and diet composition of two darters (Percidae) in the Iroquois River System, Illinois. Amer. Midi. Nat. 104: 202–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fahy, W.E. 1954. The life history of the northern greenside darter, Etheostoma blennioides blennioides Rafinesque. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 70: 139–205Google Scholar
  8. Flynn, R.B. & R.D. Hoyt. 1979. The life history of the tear-drop darter, Etheostoma barbouri Kuehne and Small. Amer. Midi. Nat. 101: 127–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Forbes, S.A. 1880. The food of the darters. Amer. Nat. 14: 697–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jaccard, P. 1902. Lois de distribution florale dans la zone alpine. Bull. Soc. Vandoise Sci. Nat. 38: 69–130Google Scholar
  11. Kuehne, R.A. 1962. A classification of streams, illustrated by fish distribution in an eastern Kentucky creek. Ecology 43: 608–614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Linton, L.R., R.W. Davies & F.J. Wrona. 1981. Resource utilization indices: an assessment. J. Anim. Ecol. 50: 283–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mantel, N. 1967. The detection of disease clustering and a generalized regression approach. Cancer Research 27: 209–220PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Mathur, D. 1973. Food habits and feeding chronology of the blackbanded darter, Percina nigrofasciata (Agassiz), in Halawakee Creek, Alabama. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 102: 48–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mathur, D. 1977. Food habits and competitive relationships of the bandfin shiner in Halawakee Creek, Alabama. Amer. Midi. Nat. 97: 89–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Page, L.M. & D.W. Schemske. 1978. The effects of interspecific competition on the distribution and size of darters of the subgenus Catonotus (Percidae: Etheostoma). Copeia 1978: 406–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pearse, A.S. 1918. The food of the shore fishes of certain Wisconsin lakes. Bull. US. Bur. Fish. 35: 249–292Google Scholar
  18. Roberts, N.J. & H.E. Winn. 1962. Utilization of the senses in feeding behavior of the johnny darter, Etheostoma nigrum. Copeia 1962: 567–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea & W.B. Scott. 1980. A list of common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada (4th edition). Amer. Fish. Soc. Special Publ. No. 12, Bethesda. 174 ppGoogle Scholar
  20. Scalet, C.G. 1972. Food habits of the orangebelly darter, Etheostoma radiosum cyanorum (Osteichthys: Percidae). Amer. Midi. Nat. 87: 515–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Scalet, C.G. 1974. Lack of piscine predation of the orangebelly darter, Etheostoma radiosum cyanorum. Amer. Midl. Nat.92: 510–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schenk, J.R. & B.G. Whiteside, 1977. Food habits and feeding behavior of the fountain darter, Etheostoma fonticola (Osteichthys: Percidae). Southwest Nat. 21: 487–492Google Scholar
  23. Schoener, T.W. 1968. The Anolis lizards of Bimini: resource partitioning in a complex fauna. Ecology 49: 704–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Siegel, S. 1956. Nonparametric statistics for the behavioral sciences. McGraw-Hill, New York. 312 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. Small, J.W. Jr. 1975. Energy dynamics of benthic fishes in a small Kentucky stream. Ecology 56: 827–840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Smart, H.J. & J.H. Gee. 1979. Coexistence and resource partitioning in two species of darters (Percidae), Etheostoma nigrum and Percina maculata. Can. J. Zool. 57: 2061–2071CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Strauss, R.E. 1982. Statistical significance of species clusters in association analysis. Ecology 63: 634–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Thomas, D.L. 1970. An ecological study of four darters of the genus Percina (Percidae) in the Kaskaskia River, Illinois. 111. Nat. Hist. Surv. Biol. Notes 70: 1–18Google Scholar
  29. Turner, C.L. 1921. Food of the common Ohio darters. Ohio J. Sci. 22: 41–62Google Scholar
  30. Udvardy, M.D.F. 1969. Dynamic zoogeography with special reference to land animals. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, New York. 445 ppGoogle Scholar
  31. Wallace, R.K. Jr. 1981. An assessment of diet-overlap indexes. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 110: 72–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Whitaker, J.O., Jr. 1975. Foods of some fishes from the White River at Petersburg, Indiana. Proc. Ind. Acad. Sci. 84: 491- 499Google Scholar
  33. Zaret, T.M. & A.S. Rand. 1971. Competition in tropical stream fishes: support for the competitive exclusion principle. Ecology 52: 336–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers, The Hague 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Douglas Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Chesapeake Biological LaboratoryUniversity of Maryland Center for Environmental and Estuarine StudiesSolomonsUSA

Personalised recommendations