back and upper sides mottled olive-brown with 6 - 7 dark brown cross bars, sides covered with dark green bars with yellow-white belly, dusky bar beneath the eye and another extending forward from onto snout
widespread distribution in rivers and large creeks in Iowa but not abundant
2 1/4 inches
Within the Misissippi River system the banded darter occurs from the Verdign`s River in Kansas eastward to the upper Allegheny River basin in New York and from the Minnesota River south to the Fall Line. The banded darter remains relatively common throughout most of its range. However, populations on the margin of its range, particularly to the west, appear in jeopardy.
In Iowa this colorful species inhabits the rocky riffles of the upper reaches of our major interior streams, such as the Cedar and Maquoketa rivers. It attains greatest abundance in smaller streams and creeks feeding these rivers. Nowhere is the banded darter common, but its distribution is widespread and in most collections it is listed as rare.
The banded darter is a moderate sized darter reaching about 2 1/4 inches in length. It is greenish in color with small crossbars; 12 dorsal rays; 9 anal rays; 45 to 48 scales along the lateral line, which is complete; and the cheeks are scaled.
The banded darter typically lives in rivers and large creeks with moderate gradient. Substrates of coarse gravel to rubble are preferred. Very little is known concerning life habits of the species.