Bankhead darter (Percina sipsi) fish species and information / pictures of Bankhead darter - Percina sipsi

Bankhead darter (Percina sipsi) fish species information

Scientific Name
Percina sipsi

Common Name
Bankhead darter

Percina sipsi is one of the two smallest species in the genus Percina, rarely exceeding 50 mm SL (P. brevicauda, maximum SL is 50 mm, see Suttkus et al. 1994). Percina sipsi 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 fused into continuous dark brown to black lateral stripe with undulating margins; lateral stripe continuous with large, somewhat 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, becoming dusky in breeding males; suborbital bar absent or very poorly developed; lateral line complete, typically no pored scale


Classified By
Williams & Neely, 2007
Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii)
Perch-like fish (Perciformes)
Perches (Percidae)


North America
North America: United States of America. Percina sipsi is known only from the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River in the Bankhead National Forest in northwestern Alabama. It occurs in Borden Creek in Lawrence County, and Brushy Creek, Caney Creek, and Sipsey Fork (recorded as West Fork Sipsey River on some maps) in Winston County. While the current known range of P. sipsi is very limited and confined downstream by Lewis Smith Reservoir, historically it is possible that the species ranged farther downstream in the Sipsey Fork and conceivably in the Locust and Mulberry forks of the Black Warrior River, which are all located in the Cumberland Plateau physiographic province. Riverine habitat in the lower reaches of the Sipsey Fork was destroyed in 1960 by the Alabama Power Company impoundment behind Lewis Smith Dam. The current distribution of P. sipsi represents the most restricted range of any known species of Percina (Ref. 58738).
35°N - 33°N, 88°W - 86°W


Water Temperature From
Unknown °C
Water Temperature To
Unknown °C
Depth From - meters
0 m
Depth To - meters
2 m
Freshwater; benthopelagic; depth range 0 - 2 m (Ref. 58738)
Trophic Level
3.26 s.e. 0.42 Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Occurs in Marine / Salt water
Occurs in Brackish water
Occurs in Fresh Water
Occurs on Reefs
Is kept in Aquariums

Physical Size and Genetics

Maximum Length
5.0 cm
Common Length
Unknown cm
Phylogenetic Diversity Index
PD50 = 0.5000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Human Uses and Population

Human Uses
Low vulnerability (13 of 100)
High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.)
Threat To Humans
IUCN Red List Status
  Not Evaluated