Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Virginia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Virginia Project

Phenology and habitat use of larval Percina in the upper Roanoke River basin – Phase 2

February 2019 - May 2020


Participating Agencies

  • Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

North American darters are a widely threatened subfamily of freshwater fishes, with little known about their larval ecology. A key hurdle to better understanding the population ecology and early-life history of imperiled darters is the lack of standard methods for identifying darter larvae to species.
Research documenting when and where larval darters occur, especially for imperiled species, can provide new insights into when and where to apply management actions to ensure those actions are cost-effective.
The project is a collaboration between university scientists (geneticists and ecologists) and a state conservation agency.
The project will provide new information on how to distinguish co-occurring larval darter species and on how their abundances vary across time and space. Project results will provide methods useful to other researchers and inform managers about when and where actions to conserve darters would be most effective.

Research Publications Publication Date
Buckwalter, J.D., P.L. Angermeier, J. Argentina, S. Wolf, S. Floyd, and E.M. Hallerman. 2019.
Drift of larval darters (Family Percidae) in the upper Roanoke River basin, USA, characterized
using phenotypic and DNA barcoding markers. Fishes 4(4), 59; doi:10.3390/fishes4040059. | Abstract
December 2019