The historical range of the Crystal Darter included the Mississippi River basin, from Wisconsin and Indiana, southwards to southeastern Oklahoma, northern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, the Mobile Basin, Pascagoula, Pearl River, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is now absent from much of this range and is rare in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. It is found in swift-flowing streams with clear or slightly turbid water and moderately swift riffles, on small or medium-sized rivers with beds of sand or gravel. It is not found on silty bottoms or areas with vegetation. Individual fish often hide under stones or bury themselves in sand with just their eyes showing.
The Crystal Darter is a new species we are working with as a surrogate to the Diamond Darter, it's closest relative. In working with the Crystal Darter we hope to understand its life history requirements and use them for propagation efforts with the Diamond Darter.