Primary Headwater Stream Organisms

Some aquatic organisms found in Ohio primary headwater streams

See "Links to related sites" below to find information about these organisms.

Some organisms rely on Ohio primary headwater habitat streams for a place to live. These include certain fish, such as Redside Dace and Mottled Sculpins, and certain salamanders, such as Two-lined salamanders and Northern Red salamanders, that rely on the cool waters that typically are found in spring-fed primary headwater streams. There are also a number of insect larvae, such as certain species of stonefly and caddisfly, that depend on the cool waters of class III primary headwater habitat streams. In addition to species that need the cool waters of class III primary headwater habitat streams, there are a large number of species that can live in the warmer waters of class II primary headwater habitat streams.

Below is a list of some of the organisms that live in Ohio primary headwater streams.




Snakes and Frogs

Bluntnose Minnow

Allegheny Mountain Dusky salamander

Alderfly larvae

Northern Water Snake

Brook Stickleback

Cave salamander

Caddisfly larvae

Queen Snake

Creek Chub

Four-toed salamander


Northern Ring-Necked Snake

Creek Chubsucker

Kentucky Spring salamander

Cranefly larvae

Northern Green Frog

Fantail Darter

Long-tailed salamander


Pickerel Frog

Fathead Minnow

Midland Mud salamander

Damselfly nymphs

Wood Frog

Green Sunfish

Northern Dusky salamander

Dragonfly nymphs

American Toad

Greenside Darter

Northern Red salamander

Fishfly larvae


Johnny Darter

Northern Spring salamander

Freshwater sponges


Largemouth Bass

Northern Two-lined salamander

Mayfly nymphs


Mottled Sculpin

Smallmouth salamander




Southern Two-lined salamander

Riffle beetles


Native Brook Trout

Streamside salamander



Orangethroat Darter

Tiger salamander



Rainbow Trout


Sow bugs


Rainbow Darter


Stonefly nymphs


Redside Dace


Water mites


Rosyside Dace


Water penny beetles


Silverjaw Minnow




Southern Redbelly Dace




Stoneroller Minnow



White Sucker      


Links to related sites


Ohio Department of Natural Resources - fishes of Ohio's state scenic rivers:

James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History - fishes of Minnesota:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - freshwater fishes of New York:


Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Ohio's amphibians:

Disappearing Jewels: The Status of New World Amphibians. Executive Summary:

U.S.Geological Survey - checklist of amphibian species and identification guide:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - herpetofauna - a life's list:

World Conservation Union - declining amphibian populations task force:


U.S. EPA - invertebrates as indicators:

Kentucky Division of Water - an introduction to benthic macroinvertebrates:


The Ohio State University - virtual watershed tour: