Blackstripe Topminnow

Blackstripe Topminnow Fundulus notatus

Type of Animal:

Slow-current vegetated riverbanks/river edges, large lowland rivers, stream pools draining flatter uplands, slightly to highly turbid streams, sloughs, poolrootwad areas, backwaters, backwater bank snag areas, river tailwaters, intermittent prairie streams, headwaters, littoral areas in reservoirs, clearwater pools, shallow vegetated areas in rivers, slow-moving areas in rivers near aquatic vegetation, slow shallow vegetated areas in permanent wetlands, slow shallow vegetated areas in lakes, sluggish rivers, slow-flowing streams w/ abundant plant cover/vegetated stream banks

Found from E Kansas/E Oklahoma/E Texas through Mississippi River basin & Great Lakes states. In Canada, only found in SW Ontario in Sydenham River.

Horizontal black stripe along sides, flat-topped head, small mouth, males have dark vertical bars above/below stripes, yellow-hued fins, longer pointier dorsal/anal fins, females lack bars, have white fins, & shorter rounder dorsal/anal fins

Insects/insect larvae, crustaceans/larvae, snails/larvae, algae, spiders

Status in Wild:

Population monitoring in parts of range, especially in Canada where only found in SW Ontario’s Sydenham River. Sydenham River Recovery Strategy completed in 2003 focused on this ecosystem. Breeding in aquaculture & aquariums.

Schools of 2-16 fish

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: School
2.5 oz

3 weeks 

Life Span:
2-3 years

Body Length:
Male: 3 in
Female: 2 in

Main predators are other fish, fish-eating birds, & otters.
They migrate to deeper waters in colder weather.
Females lay 20-30 eggs per spawning.
Male tucks eggs one at a time in underwater vegetation.
They have habit of skimming along just beneath water surface.
Spawn from April-August.
They hunt along shoreline.
Sometimes compete w/ Blackspotted Topminnows in parts of range.
Mature at 1 year old.
While stable, potential threats include water pollution, habitat alteration/degradation, pesticides, livestock trampling, sedimentation, nutrient loading, oil seepage, & alien species.
Called topminnows due to spending much of their time at top of water column.
Spawning pairs show some territoriality during breeding season.

Fun Fact(s):
In Canada, it was 1st discovered in 1972.
These fish sometimes appear in aquarium trade.
Latin name means bottom-spotted.
Habit of swimming near surface allows them to survive in waters w/ lower oxygen levels.

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