Field Guide

Fishes

Showing 1 - 9 of 9 results
Media
Crystal darter side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Crystallaria asprella
Description
The crystal darter is Endangered in Missouri. Formerly known from many river drainages in the east-central and southeastern parts of our state, this pale, very slender darter apparently now lives only in the Gasconade and Black rivers.
Media
Orangethroat darter male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Etheostoma, Percina, Ammocrypta, and Crystallaria spp.
Description
Darters have been described as the hummingbirds of the fish world: colorful, small, and quick. Missouri has about 44 different types of darters. They are most diverse in the fast, clear, rocky streams of the Ozarks.
Media
Grotto sculpin side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cottus specus
Description
The grotto sculpin is a rare fish adapted cave conditions. It has recently been designated an endangered species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. It's found only in Perry County, Missouri.
Media
Harlequin darter side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Etheostoma histrio
Description
In Missouri, the harlequin darter occurs only in our southeastern lowlands, in flowing streams and ditches with sandy bottoms. It is State Endangered because its small numbers and limited range make it vulnerable to extirpation.
Media
Longnose darter side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Percina nasuta
Description
The longnose darter is slender, with a series of 10 to 15 small, indistinct, dark blotches or bars along the midside. It is endangered in Missouri, today known only from the St. Francis River and Lake Wappapello. Historically, it occurred in the White River.
Media
Ozark cavefish side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amblyopsis rosae
Description
The Ozark cavefish is small, colorless, and blind. It lives only in springs, cave streams, and underground waters. It has been declared Endangered in our state and as Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Media
Redfin darter side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Etheostoma whipplei
Description
The redfin darter is one of Missouri's rarest darters and is endangered in our state. It is part of a highly distinctive fish community living in the lower Spring River and its North Fork, in Jasper and Barton counties.
Media
Southern cavefish side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Typhlichthys subterraneus
Description
The southern cavefish has a long, flattened head without eyes. It is whitish-pink because it lacks pigmentation. The only other Missouri fish that lacks eyes is the Ozark cavefish.
Media
Swamp darter side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Etheostoma fusiforme
Description
Unlike most other darters, the swamp darter prefers swamps and sloughs with no current at all. Rare in our state, it’s found only in a few southeast Missouri locations.
See Also
Media
Photo of a three-toed amphiuma in an aquarium.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amphiuma tridactylum
Description
The three-toed amphiuma is an eel-like, completely aquatic salamander. It has very small fore- and hind limbs, each with three very small toes. In Missouri it’s found only in the Bootheel region.
Media
Photo of researcher holding a gilled siren
Species Types
Scientific Name
Siren intermedia nettingi
Description
The western lesser siren is an eel-like, aquatic salamander with external gills, small eyes, small forelimbs with four toes, and no hind limbs. In Missouri, it’s found mostly in the Bootheel and northward near the Mississippi River.

About Fishes in Missouri

Missouri has more than 200 kinds of fish, more than are found in most neighboring states. Fishes live in water, breathe with gills, and have fins instead of legs. Most are covered with scales. Most fish in Missouri “look” like fish and could never be confused with anything else. True, lampreys and eels have snakelike bodies — but they also have fins and smooth, slimy skin, which snakes do not.