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Reproductive Seasonality and Life-history Traits of the Coastal Darter, Etheostoma colorosum (Pisces: Percidae), from the Escambia River Drainage of Florida

David C. Heins*

*Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118.

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 19, Issue 2 (2020): 339–346

I took samples of Etheostoma colorosum (Coastal Darter) from Canoe Creek, a tributary to the Escambia River in northwest Florida. Examination of ovaries from female darters showed reproduction (presence of clutch-bearing females) occurred from January into June 1989, with the greatest activity (percentage of clutch-bearing females) occurring mid-February to early May. Females begin reproducing at age 1 and can live 2 years. During the height of the reproductive season, females measuring 27–42 mm standard length produced clutches of 5–69 eggs. Clutch size, adjusted for female length, was greater mid-season in March than in February or April and May. Mature oocytes averaged 1.06 mm diameter, mean ripening oocyte diameter was 1.12 mm, and mean ripe egg diameter was 1.22 mm.

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