Etheostoma obama

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Etheostoma obama
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Percidae
Genus: Etheostoma
Species: E. obama
Binomial name
Etheostoma obama
Mayden & Layman, 2012[1]

Etheostoma obama, the spangled darter, is a species of darter endemic to the eastern United States where it is only known to occur in the Duck River and the Buffalo River, both in Tennessee.[2][3]

Discovery and naming[edit]

Layman, of Geosyntec Consultants, and Rick Mayden, Department of Biology at Saint Louis University, studied the freshwater darters, most of which are native to the U. S. states of Alabama and Tennessee. While they were studying color variation of Etheostoma stigmaeum, the speckled darter, Layman and Mayden discovered that there were populations with enough variation that they should be described as unique species.[2]

This species is one of five distinct species were named after former U.S. presidents and a vice-president, based on their leadership in conservation. E. obama was named after Barack Obama, for his work "particularly in the areas of clean energy and environmental protection, and because he is one of our first leaders to approach conservation and environmental protection from a more global vision," according to one of the scientists, Steve Layman, who named the new species.[2]


E. obama males have bright orange and iridescent blue speckles, stripes, and checked patterns, with a bright fan-shaped fin that has orange stripes. The males can reach up to 48 millimetres (1.9 in) long, while the females reach 43 millimetres (1.7 in) long. Twenty-nine percent of the studied fish had palatine teeth..[2][4]


  1. ^ Layman, Steven R.; Mayden, Richard L. (2012). "Morphological Diversity and Phylogenetics of the Darter Subgenus Doration (Percidae: Etheostoma), with Descriptions of Five New Species" (PDF). Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History. 30: 20–22. 
  2. ^ a b c d Crew, Becky (November 29, 2012). "All the Presidents’ fish: Five new species named after Obama, Clinton, Roosevelt, Carter and Gore". Scientific American Blogs. Scientific American. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Etheostoma obama" in FishBase. February 2014 version.
  4. ^ Goldenberg, Suzanne (November 29, 2012). "Spawned in the USA: new fish named after Barack Obama". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2012.