Descriptions of larval percidae inhabiting the Upper Mississippi River basin (Osteichthyes: Etheostomantini)
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Eggs, larvae, and juveniles of six species of darters inhabiting the Upper Mississippi River are described. Attention to meristic, morphometric, pigment, and morphological characters which were readily apparent were employed for identification. Species of the genus Etheostoma possess well developed pectoral fins, maxillary, mandible, fewer than 18 preanal myomeres, and have greater body depth characteristics/TL than does the subgenus Percina. The subgenus Catonotus (E. kennicotti, E. flabellare lineolatum, and E. squamiceps) has large, robust, spherical yolk sacs when compared to either the Microperca, Percina, or Imostoma subgenera. The Microperca subgenus (E. microperca) has 15 preanal and 19 postanal myomeres and hatches at smaller lengths than other Etheostoma. The genus Percina is characterized by slender bodies, smaller body depth characteristics/TL than Etheostoma, undeveloped, maxillary and mandible at hatching, preanal myomeres equal to or greater than 18, and weakly developed pectorals. P. caprodes semifasciata possesses fewer postanal myomeres than P. shumardi, while the two species each have differential pigmentation patterns especially apparent in the postanal hypaxial musculature.