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Percina kusha Williams & Burkhead, 2007

Bridled darter
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Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Percidae (Perches) > Etheostomatinae
Etymology: Percina: Latin, diminutive of perch = perch (Ref. 45335);  kusha: of the name of the Coosa River (Foscue 1989) (Ref. 58738).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic.   Temperate; 35°N - 32°N, 87°W - 85°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North America: United States of America. Percina kusha is restricted to the headwaters of the Coosa River in Georgia and Tennessee. It occurs in the main channel of the upper reaches of the Conasauga River in Murray and Whitfield counties, Georgia, and Bradley and Polk counties, Tennessee. It is also known from short reaches of three tributaries to the Conasauga River: Holly Creek, Murray County, Georgia; and Ball Play and Minnewauga creeks, Polk County, Tennessee. In the Etowah River it occurs in the main channel in Dawson and Lumpkin counties, Georgia, and in several tributaries: Amicalola, Little Amicalola, Cochran and Shoal creeks, Dawson County, Georgia (Ref. 58738).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 6.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 58738)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Percina kusha is distinguished from all other described species of Percina by a combination of the following characteristics: absence of bright colors on body and fins of adults; no orange band in spinous dorsal fin; no broad vertical bands on body extending dorsally across the back joining those of the other side; 7–11 lateral blotches connected to form a continuous dark brown to black lateral stripe with undulating margins; lateral stripe continuous with large, quadrate basicaudal blotch that extends onto base of caudal fin rays; small, dark blotch on upper and lower portion of caudal fin base, dorsal blotch typically darker; body below lateral stripe white to cream colored, without dark blotches, dusky in breeding males; suborbital bar absent or very poorly developed; lateral line complete, typically no pored scales on base of caudal fin; males with row of modified scales on midline of belly and one or two modified scales between base of pelvic fins; modified breast scale absent; nuptial tubercles absent; anal fin of breeding males not excessively elongate; males without caudal keel as a ventral extension of the caudal peduncle; snout not projecting beyond anterior margin of upper jaw; well-developed premaxillary frenum; serrae on margin of preopercle absent; branchiostegal membranes overlapping or very narrowly joined (Ref. 58738).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Etnier & Starnes (1991) considered the conservation status of Percina kusha to be endangered, like two other Percina species endemic to the upper Coosa River system, P. antesella and P. jenkinsi. In a review of conservation status of fishes in Georgia, Freeman (1999) assigned a status of rare (a species in need of protection because of its scarcity) to populations in Georgia. Warren et al. (2000) and Freeman et al. (2005) both regarded P. kusha as vulnerable (any taxon that may become endangered or threatened by relatively minor disturbance to its habitat). Based on the authors' sampling and snorkeling observations, P. kusha appears to be a species that naturally occurs in low abundance, at least when compared to sympatric congeners such as P. nigrofasciata and P. palmaris. We do not know, however, what the actual range of the species was prior to European colonization. Its association with slow-flowing habitats suggests P. kusha could have occurred throughout the Conasauga and Etowah rivers, and possibly in the geographically intermediate Coosawattee River, below the gorge now impounded by Carters Dam and Reservoir. Considering its very limited distribution in portions of two small rivers and threats to its habitat from municipal and industrial development and forestry and agriculture activities the authors consider P. kusha to be endangered (Ref. 58738).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Williams, J.D., D.A. Neely, S.J. Walsh and N.M. Burkhead, 2007. Three new percid fishes (Percidae: Percina) from the Mobile Basin drainage ofAlabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. Zootaxa 1549:1-28. (Ref. 58738)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)

  Endangered (EN) (B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)); Date assessed: 19 April 2012

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00513 (0.00204 - 0.01288), b=3.14 (2.92 - 3.36), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.3   ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (17 of 100) .