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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

�	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 10-15�C
�	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.


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):

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
  8. Ictaluridae, Catfish
  9. Percopsidae, Trout-Perches
  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
  19. Gasterosteidae, Sticklebacks
  20. Atherinidae, Silversides
  21. Cottidae, Sculpins
  22. Sciaenidae, Drums
  23. Percidae, Perches
  24. Moronidae, Striped Basses
  25. Centrarchidae, Sunfishes

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