Etheostoma maydeni Powers and Kuhajda, 2012

Powers, Steven L., Kuhajda, Bernard R. & Ahlbrand, Sarah E., 2012, Systematics of the Etheostoma cinereum (Teleostei: Percidae) species complex (subgenus Allohistium), Zootaxa 3277 (1), pp. 43-55 : 52-53

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3277.1.3


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scientific name

Etheostoma maydeni Powers and Kuhajda

n. sp.

Etheostoma maydeni Powers and Kuhajda n. sp.

Redlips Darter

Holotype. USNM 403641 View Materials , adult male, 79.7 mm, New River at U.S. Hwy 27 near New River , Scott County, Tennessee, (36.3827° N, 84.5529° W), 7 March 2006, S.L. Powers, B. R. Kuhajda. GoogleMaps

Paratopotypes. UAIC 15059.02 View Materials (5, 55.9–68.7 mm) taken with holotype . UAIC 15058.02 View Materials , (1, 55.0 mm), 4 March 2005, S.L. Powers, B . R. Kuhajda . INHS 33321 View Materials (2, 30.9–32.3 mm) 18 August 1994, L.M. Page, S.M. Phelps .

Paratypes. UT 91.4886 (3, 66.9–72.1 mm), Smoky Creek 3 km SW Smoky Junction, Scott County, Tennessee (36.2679° N, 84.3911° W), 10 July 1996 GoogleMaps , J. T. Baxter. SIUC 24738 View Materials (2, 54.6-77.3 mm), Big South Fork Cumberland River at mouth of Parched Corn Creek , Scott County, Tennessee, (36.5562° N, 84.6697° W), 7 September 1995 GoogleMaps , B.M. Burr. SIUC 61655 View Materials (71.3 mm), Big South Fork Cumberland River at Blue Heron , McCreary County, Kentucky, (36.6703° N, 84.5492° W), 24 August 2005 GoogleMaps , M. R. Thomas. SIUC 61628 View Materials (2, 46.3– 66.7 mm), Big South Fork Cumberland River at Blue Heron , McCreary County, Kentucky, (36.6703° N, 84.5492° W), 20 November 2005 GoogleMaps , M. R. Thomas.

Diagnosis. The Etheostoma cinereum complex is diagnosed from all other darters by having the combination of an elongated, pointy snout, rust to faint red spots in 4 horizontal rows dorsolaterally on the side of the body, dark brown to black oval to rectangular lateral blotches expanding to faint diagonal bands on the side of the body, red pigment on interradial membranes of the soft dorsal fin, and a distal red band of pigment in the spinous dorsal fin. For further diagnoses of this complex (a.k.a. subgenus Allohistium ), see Bailey & Gosline (1955) and Page (1981). Etheostoma maydeni is diagnosed from E. cinereum by a conspicuous red pigment on the external surface of the lips ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 ). Etheostoma maydeni also has modally 11 dorsal spines, 12 dorsal rays, and 23 caudal peduncle scales, whereas E. cinereum has modally 12 dorsal spines, 13 dorsal rays, and 25 caudal peduncle scales. Shepard & Burr (1984) also reported modally 41 vertebrae in populations described herein as E. maydeni and with populations of E. cinereum having modally 42 or 43 vertebrae.

Description. Coloration and body shape of E. maydeni are depicted in Fig. 5A View FIGURE 5 . The largest specimen examined for this study was 99.1 mm SL. Snout elongated; gill membranes separate; nape, breast and prepectoral area unscaled; belly and opercle scaled; cheek scaled but scales are often deeply imbedded and inconspicuous. Lateral-line scales 52(2), 53(4), 54(3), 55(2), 56(4), 57(5), 58(6), 59(4), 60(4), 61(3), 62(2), 63(1); dorsal spines 11(29), 12(11); dorsal rays 12(30), 13(10); anal rays 7(3), 8(27), 9(10); transverse scales 18(3), 19(4), 20(13), 21(9), 22(6), 23(5); caudal-peduncle scales 21(1), 22(7), 23(15), 24(7), 25(8), 26(2).

Coloration. External surface of lips in live nuptial males mostly brilliant red. Head largely cream to light brown in color with black to dark brown preorbital and postorbital bar, dark dorsal dark brown pigment arranged in vermiculated pattern, ventral half of head generally lacking dark pattern, but often with faint blue cast over gill membranes that can become dark blue to black in peak males. A series of 10–13 dark brown to black oval to rectangular lateral blotches expanding to faint diagonal bands on the side of the body. Tan to light brown ventral to the lateral blotches. Rust to faint red spots in 4 horizontal rows dorsolaterally on the side of the body surrounded by tan to light brown with 7–10 faint dorsal saddles. Pelvic and anal fins ranging from clear in non-nuptial males to bright blue to dark blue or black in nuptial males. Caudal fin largely clear with bright blue cast near dorsal and ventral origins and red spots on interradial membranes. Interradial membranes of soft-dorsal fin with bright red pigment forming a contiguous band sometimes degrading to a series of bright red spots distally. Spinous dorsal fin with a bright red distal margin and interradial bands or vermiculation transitioning from black or brown proximally to red distally.

Ecology. The ecology of E. maydeni was described by Shepard & Burr (1984) along with the rest of the E. cinereum complex. Cumberland River system populations (i.e., E. maydeni ) were noted as having slower growth than other populations, males outnumbering females rather than the opposite for other populations, and a greater reliance on burrowing mayflies ( Ephemeroptera : Ephemera ) and oligochaetes in their diet with a lower proportion of Chironomidae compared to other populations. Specimens for this study were collected largely in water approximately 0.5–1 m deep over large rocks and course woody debris with slow current adjacent to faster current.

Distribution. Etheostoma maydeni is restricted to large tributaries of the Cumberland River below Cumberland Falls. The mainstem and large tributaries of the Big South Fork and Rockcastle rivers are home to the largest populations. The Buck Creek population was considered extirpated by Shepard & Burr (1984), but several specimens have been collected in recent years, suggesting the species has made a comeback in the stream. The Red and Stones river populations of the E. cinereum complex were considered extirpated by Shepard and Burr (1984) and despite sampling in these drainages for this and other projects by the authors and many other researchers, we have no evidence to contradict this assertion. The status of populations in the Obey and Roaring rivers was considered unknown by Shepard & Burr (1984) due to absence of the species from collections in these drainages since the early 1970s. Sampling in these rivers for this and other studies by the authors and other researchers has not yielded specimens, suggesting these populations are extirpated. However, given the recent rediscovery of E. cinereum in the Elk River after a 30-year absence, it is possible that these populations may persist in low numbers in what appears to be suitable habitat for the species.

Etymology. The name maydeni is in honor of Dr. Richard L. Mayden, a prominent ichthyologist, mentor and friend of the authors. His studies of North American fishes include ecology, biogeography, conservation, and systematics. The common name “Redlips Darter” refers to the conspicuous red pigment on the surface of the flesh surrounding the premaxilla and mandible often referred to as lips.

Comparisons. Pigmentation differences between E. maydeni and E. cinereum appear to be restricted to bright red pigment on the lips for the former. Etheostoma maydeni has modally fewer dorsal spines, dorsal rays, and caudal-peduncle scales than E. cinereum ( Table 1).

Comments. Photos of E. maydeni have been published as E. cinereum ( Kuehne & Barbour 1983; Shepard & Burr 1984).


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics