Share your observations

Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory

Rare animals
Find rare and non-game animals.
Rare plants
Learn about plants on the Natural Heritage Working List.
Rare lichens
Discover Wisconsin's lichens.
Natural communities
Explore Wisconsin's natural communities.
Other features
Discover unique resources.
Eagle license plate

Help care for rare plants and animals by ordering an Endangered Resources plate.

Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare vertebrate animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
For information on Wisconsin's rare invertebrates, contact:
Jay Watson
Conservation Biologist

Gilt Darter (Percina evides)



Gilt Darter (Percina evides), listed as Threatened in Wisconsin, prefers strong currents, deep riffles, and pools in clear, medium-to-large streams that have clean, silt-free bottoms of cobble and small boulders. Spawning occurs late-May to late-June.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Gilt Darter (Percina evides). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Percina evides in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusTHR
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2S3
Global RankG4
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

Note: a species guidance document is not available at this time. Information below was compiled from publication ER-091.

Identification: Stout-bodied darter with unique bright reds and blues on body and five to eight dark saddles directly above the lateral blotches. Back olive blue. Adult length: 2.6 inches (66 mm).

Habitat: Prefer the moderate to fast, deep riffles and pools of clear, medium- to large-sized streams with clean, silt-free bottoms of gravel, rubble and small boulders. The larger, more colorful males occupy the deeper water with rubble and boulder bottoms, while females and smaller males tend to occur in adjacent habitats.

State Distribution: The Mississippi River drainage basin. At the northern limit of its range in the lower Black River, the upper Chippewa River, and the St. Croix-Namekagon system. A map outlining Pre-1977 and 1997 to Present Distribution is available.

Phenology: During spawning in mid-June, males are territorial and die shortly thereafter.

Diet: Eats caddisfly larvae, diptera larvae and mayfly nymphs.

Management Guidelines: The gilt darter's habitat in Wisconsin is limited by impoundments which convert suitable waters to slow-moving, silt-prone areas.



Gilt Darter

Side view adult.

Photo by John Lyons, WDNR.

Gilt Darter

Side view adult.

Photo by John Lyons, WDNR.

Gilt Darter

The gilt darter is one of several rare fish known to occur in the Upper St. Croix River.

Photo by John Lyons, WDNR.

Gilt Darter

Side view of a breeding male: Males develop bright gold or reddish-orange colors.

Photo by John Lyons, WDNR.

Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Gilt Darter. Only natural communities for which Gilt Darter is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Natural community Score
Warmwater rivers 3
Warmwater streams 3

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Gilt Darter. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Gilt Darter occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.

Back to Top

Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

Back to Top

Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

Back to Top

Last revised: Thursday, October 08, 2020