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Eastern Mudminnow
Eastern Mudminnow, Umbra pygmaea

Four species of mudminnows are found in North America, and only one species is found in Virginia waters. These small, primitive stream fishes can breath atmospheric oxygen and thereby can survive in low oxygen waters unsuitable for many other fishes. They are little know fishes that forage by night and hide by day. These small stream fishes add to the aquatic diversity and serve as links in the food chain and indicators of water quality.
 
Physical Description: 
	Robust or stout body 
	Elongate and broad anteriorly, somewhat compressed posteriorly 
	Large, vertically elongate blotch at the base of the caudal 
	Adults have dark and light horizontal stripes on the body 
	Snout is short and well rounded
	Tail fin round 
	Dark olive to brown and lighter areas are cream to yellow 

Similar species: 
	Central mudminnow (Umbra limi) 
	European mudminnow (U. krameri)

Mean body size:
	Adults are 50-100 mm standard length

Habitat:
	Sluggish creeks, streams, lakes, and marshes 
	Bury in mud during daylight 

Distribution in VA:
	Found in all major and some minor Atlantic drainages in Virginia  
	One of the southern-most freshwater fish found on the Delmarva Peninsula

Food Habits:  
	Mainly eat insects, snails, crustaceans, and crayfishes 

Reproductive Habits: 
	Mature by age 1 or 2
	Spawning occurs in late March and April at 10-15C
	Nest sites are reported to be cavities in algal masses
	Males court the females by flaunting spread fins
	After spawning, both sexes remain guard at the nest
	Fecundity is 31-2,566 eggs per female  

Population Status, Economic, or Ecological Importance: 
	Helps control mosquito populations 
	Also used as aquarium fish.

References:       

Jenkins, R.E and N.M. Burkhead. 1993. Freshwater Fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 

Page, L.M. and M.B. Brooks. 1991.  A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes, North America, North of Mexico.  Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York. 
If you are seeking more information for the above species click on the VAFWIS logo (The Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service):

VAFWIS
Continue Browsing Families.....
  1. Petromyzontidae, Lampreys
  2. Polyodontidae, Paddlefish
  3. Acipenseridae, Sturgeons
  4. Lepisosteidae, Gars
  5. Amiidae, Bowfins
  6. Anguillidae, Freshwater Eels
  7. Amblyopsidae, Cavefishes
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  10. Salmonidae, Trouts
  11. Clupeidae, Herrings
  12. Esocidae, Pikes
  13. Aphredoderidae, Pirate Perches
  14. Umbridae, Mudminnows
  15. Fundulidae, Killifishes
  16. Poeciliidae, Livebearers
  17. Cyprinidae, Minnows
  18. Catostomidae, Suckers
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