SCIENTIFIC NAME: Fundulus olivaceous

CHARACTERISTICS: Blackspotted topminnows are characterized by a dark lateral stripe extending from the mouth to the caudal fin base and by small, distinct black spots along the back and upper sides (a useful characteristic for separating the blackspotted topminnow from the blackstripe topminnow, Fundulus notatus). The back above the lateral stripe is olive brown, and the venter is white. Adult males have distinct spots on their median fins and a faint yellow tint on the dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins. On breeding males, the lateral stripe has vertical spikes that resemble those of F. notatus. On females, fins are colorless and translucent. A member of the subgenus Zygonectes, the blackspotted topminnow is most closely related to F. euryzonus, the broadstripe topminnow, and F. notatus, the blackstripe topminnow. See Storer (1845b) for original description.

ADULT SIZE: 2.2 to 3.8 in (56 to 97 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: Fundulus olivaceous is found in Gulf slope drainages from the Galveston Bay drainage east to the Choctawhatchee and middle Chattahoochee river drainages and north in the Mississippi basin to southern Illinois. In Alabama, it is widely distributed throughout the Tennessee River drainage, the Mobile basin, and all coastal drainages, including the Escatawpa River. It occurs with less frequency in the upper Coosa and upper Tallapoosa river systems.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Successful inhabitants of most Alabama waters, blackspotted topminnows occur singly or in small schools in various habitats—small to large flowing streams, rivers, reservoirs, swamps, and isolated oxbow lakes. They prefer slow-moving, quiet waters. We regularly observe individuals near the water surface along stream margins and near vegetation or large woody debris. Reproduction occurs from late spring throughout the summer. Food items include terrestrial insects, small crustaceans, and aquatic insects (Thomerson and Wooldridge, 1970).

REMARKS: The type locality of the blackspotted topminnow is Florence, Lauderdale County, the exact stream location is unknown.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Storer described the blackspotted topminnow in 1845.

Fundulus means bottom.
Olivaceous means olive.

The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.