Rainbow Darter

Etheostoma caeruleum


Conservation Status

  • One of our basin’s most eye-catching fish, the colorful Rainbow Darter is found in fast-moving, rocky-bottomed streams, and small rivers. 
  • Rainbow Darters are an indicator species. Because they are intolerant of pollution, their presence usually indicates a healthy waterway.  
  • When rainbow darters are attacked, they release a chemical that warns other darters of the danger. 
  • The greatest threats to rainbow darter populations are new development from urban sprawl and the resulting pollution from stormwater runoff.