Until recently, this darter was part of the complex known as Duskytail Darter. Blanton and Jenkins (2008) recognized that this complex was actually four species. The Marbled darter is currently known only from Little River in Blount Co., TN. The species is also known from a single specimen collected in the Holston River in 1947, just three years before the closing of the dam, creating Cherokee Reservoir. This inundated the darters’ habitat and no specimens have ever found elsewhere in the Holston.
The lower sections of Little River, where this darter is found, are severely impacted from a number of sources. CFI has been involved in trying to establish a population of this extremely imperiled darter using propagated fish further upstream in Little River, above some of the most degraded sections of river. However, suitable habitat upstream is rare and no evidence suggests that our efforts have succeeded to date. We are still in the early stages of this project, and hopefully we can accomplish our goals in time.