Percina carbonaria

Texas logperch



Type Locality

Rio Salado (6km W San Antonio), Texas (Baird and Girard 1853).


Etymology/Derivation of Scientific Name

Percina, “a small perch;” carbonaria, “of or relating to charcoal”, perhaps referring to black coloration on parts of the body and/or overall dusky coloration of the species.



Pileoma carbonaria Baird and Girard (1853).



Maximum size: 112 mm SL (Morris and Page 1981).


Coloration: Dorsum and side of the body are light olive; the underside is cream. Vertical bars on sides of body with obvious constriction medially; bars expanded dorso- and ventrolaterally; lateral bars wide, nine to 10 whole bars; midbars between whole bars short, about half the length of whole bars; centers of the bar are lighter in color than the edges. Medial spot at the base of the caudal fin and the suborbital bar are black, well-developed. 1st dorsal fin dusky black marginally and basally and in adults has orange submarginal band. Breeding males dusky overall with an orange cast with black on breast, the pelvic and anal fins, and branchiostegal membranes, and having bright orange submarginal band on 1st dorsal fin (Page 1983; Hubbs et al. 1991). Differences in coloration between Guadalupe River and Colorado River P. carbonaria are evident, in that P. carbonaria of Guadalupe River often has a mottled pattern on upper sides and somewhat less intense pigmentation in the breeding male; that of Colorado River may have lateral bars fused dorsally (Stevenson 1968).


Counts: More than 77 scales in lateral line (Hubbs et al. 1991), 80-93 lateral scales (Page 1983); pored scales on caudal fin 0-3; scales above lateral line 8-12 (9-10); scales below lateral line 14-19 (15-18); transverse scales 25-32 (27-30); scales around caudal peduncle 27-37 (30-34); dorsal spines 12-16 (14-15); dorsal rays 13-16 (14-15); pectoral rays 12-15 (14); anal spines 2; anal rays 9-12 (10-11); branchiostegal rays 6. Male has a row of 26-35 modified scales along belly midline (Page 1983). Morris and Page (1981) compare differences in certain meristic counts between Guadalupe River and Colorado River Percina carbonaria samples.


Body shape:  Elongate (Morris and Page 1981), subfusiform, compressed (Baird and Girard 1853); body depth contained in standard length less than seven times; snout conical extending beyond upper lip; upper jaw not extending as far as to below middle of eye (Hubbs et al. 1991).


Mouth position:


External morphology: Belly scaled (a narrow naked band may be present on midline); preopercle smooth or weakly serrate (Hubbs et al. 1991); head with scales on cheeks opercles and temporal regions (Morris and Page 1981).


Distribution (Native and Introduced)

U.S. distribution:


Texas distribution: Occurs throughout the Edwards Plateau region of central Texas, north and east to the Red River (the Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe and San Antonio river drainages; Morris and Page 1981). Warren et al. (2000) list the following drainage units for the species: Brazos River unit, Colorado River unit, San Antonio Bay unit (including minor coastal drainages west of mouth of Colorado River to mouth of Nueces River). Species collected from the Bosque River and Leon River watersheds within the Middle Brazos River Basin (Armstrong 1998).


Abundance/Conservation status (Federal, State, NGO)

Populations in the southern United States are currently stable (Warren et al. 2000).


Habitat Associations

Macrohabitat: Streams (Morris and Page 1981); small to medium rivers (Page and Burr 1991).


Mesohabitat: Hyperbenthic (Near 2002). Common in rocky riffles (Morris and Page 1981) and runs (Page 1991). Percina carbonaria is a pollution intolerant species (Armstrong 1998; Linam and Kleinsasser 1998).



Spawning season:


Spawning location:


Reproductive strategy:




Age at maturation




Food habits:  Invertivore (Linam and Kleinsasser 1998).




Phylogeny and morphologically similar fishes

Percina carbonaria is distinguished from certain members of subgenus Percina, including P. caprodes, and P. macrolepida, by combination of fully scaled nape; no prepectoral, breast (except modified) or supraoccipital scales; modally 18 or 19 broad vertical bars along side, bars constricted medially and expanded below lateral line and dorsolaterally; orange submarginal in first dorsal fin of male and female; breeding male with intensely black branchiostegal membranes, breast, pelvic fins, and anal fin (Morris and Page 1981).


Host Records



Commercial or Environmental Importance




Armstrong, M.P. 1998. A Fishery survey of the Middle Brazos River Basin in North-Central Texas. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 2. Arlington Ecological Field Office, Arlington, Texas. 26 pp.

Baird, S.F., and C. Girard. 1853. Descriptions of new species of fishes collected by Mr. John H. Clark, on the U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey, under Lt. Col. Jas. D. Graham. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 6:387-390.

Hubbs, C., R. J. Edwards, and G. P. Garrett. 1991. An annotated checklist of the freshwater fishes of Texas, with keys to identification of species. Texas Journal of Science, Supplement 43(4):1-56.

Linam, G.W., and L.J. Kleinsasser. 1998. Classification of Texas freshwater fishes into trophic and tolerance groups. River Studies Report No. 14. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas.

Morris, M. A., and L. M. Page. 1981. Variation in western logperches (Pisces: Percidae), with description of a new subspecies from the Ozarks. Copeia 1981:95-108.

Near, T.J. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships of Percina (Percidae: Etheostomatinae). Copeia 2002(1):1-14.

Page, L.M. 1983. Handbook of Darters. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ. 271 pp.

Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr.  1991.  A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America, north of Mexico.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 432 pp.

Stevenson, M.M. 1968. Two sibling species of logperch from Texas. Unpubl. MA Thesis, University of Texas.

Warren, L. W., Jr., B. M. Burr, S. J. Walsh, H. L. Bart, Jr., R. C. Cashner, D. A. Etnier, B. J. Freeman, B. R. Kuhajda, R. L. Mayden, H. W. Robison, S. T. Ross, and W. C. Starnes. 2000. Diversity, Distribution, and Conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries 25(10):7-29.