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Banded Killifish Fundulus diaphanus


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Banded Killifish
credit: Terrapin83/CCSA

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Family: Cyprinodontidae, Killifishes view all from this family

Description The banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus), is a North American species of temperate freshwater killifish belonging to the Fundulus genus of the Fundulidae family. The natural geographic range extends from Newfoundland to South Carolina, and west to Minnesota. It occupies the Great Lakes drainages. The Banded killifish is the only freshwater killifish found in the Northeastern United States, but can occasionally be found in brackish water.

Olive colored on the dorsal and white coloring under the ventral. Their throat and fins are yellowish in color. In addition, there are 13-15 rays on a killifish's dorsal fin and 10-12 rays on the anal fin. Furthermore, the homocercal tail of a Banded Killifish is slightly convex or rounded. It also have a small pelvic fin along the abdominal. The body is slender and elongated with somewhat of a flat side and flattened head and small terminal mouth position for surface feeding. Banded Killifish also have a row of small sharp teeth lining their upper and lower jaw. It does not have a lateral line along the side but it do have 39 to 43 cycloid scales in the lateral series. The average size of a Banded Killifish range from 10–13 cm in length and weighs a few grams. Additionally, there are multiple vertical black and silver/white stripes along both sides of the Banded Killifish; similar to its cousin species the Western Banded Killifish Fundulus diaphanus menona. The numbers of bandings on the dorsal fin of a Banded Killifish are useful in determining the sex of this species. The females tend to grow larger in size than the male. They also have larger bandings on the sides and appear black in color. In contrast, the males have pale gray bandings that are close together.

Dimensions Up to 5" (12.5 cm).

Habitat Rivers & streams, Lakes & ponds.

Range Widely distributed throughout Eastern North America, ranging from South Carolina to as far north as the Atlantic Provinces. They are also found in the eastern part of Montana to Minnesota and throughout the suitable habitats of the Great Lakes watershed of southern Ontario to Lake Superior