Percina maculata (Girard, 1859)
member of the Perch Family (Percidae)
photo by Konrad Schmidt
In a Name?
Do They Live?
Blackside darters live throughout Minnesota, but they are most common in the central and south-central portions of the state. They are common in the St. Croix, Cannon, Zumbro, Cottonwood, and Otter Tail rivers and their larger tributaries. Adult blackside darters live mostly on rocky riffles to pebbly and sandy runs of small to large rivers. Often they seek shelter from the current in debris or vegetation at the downstream end of runs and riffles. Young blacksides prefer quieter water and can be found in slow runs, pools, or backwaters. Adults share the riffle habitats with a variety of other fishes, such as other darters, stonerollers, blacknose dace, white suckers, and creek chubs.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Young blackside darters begin by eating mostly small crustaceans, like waterfleas and copepods, but they switch quickly to insect larvae. Adults eat a greater variety of insect larvae, including mayflies, midges, and caddisflies. They also include a small amount of plant matter, other insect larvae, waterfleas and other crustaceans, fish eggs, and even larval fish.
Do They Reproduce?
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Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 23 October 2002