SCIENTIFIC NAME: Fundulus auroguttatus
Characteristics: The banded topminnow, now designated Fundulus auroguttatus, most resembles the golden topminnow, F. chrysotus. Male banded topminnows are olive green with orange highlighting the upper gill covers. From the pectoral fin to the caudal fin base, light orange dots along the sides produce subtle yet evident rows. The caudal fin is light orange, becoming translucent near its margin. Usually 12 or more vertical bars extend along the sides from the lower back to about halfway between the midline and the venter. Females are similar in color, except they lack bright orange on the gill covers; also, the orange dots along the sides produce more orderly rows. The systematics of the banded topminnow were revised by Gilbert et al. (1992) to correct Hay’s misidentifications of the type series. Fundulus cingulatus was placed in synonymy because the holotype was actually a lined topminnow, F. lineolatus. Fundulus auroguttatus was suggested as the replacement name.
ADULT SIZE: 2 to 2.6 in (50 to 66 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: Gilbert et al. (1992) report that F. auroguttatus occurs continuously from the Perdido system on the Alabama-Florida state line east to the Ochlockonee system, with apparent isolated populations in the Suwannee and Waccasassa river drainges farther east. Our 1991-93 sampling efforts confirm banded topminnows in the Conecuh and Perdido systems in Alabama and extend their known range west to the Fish River system and Fort Morgan peninsula on the eastern side of Mobile Bay.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Generally associated with aquatic vegetation, the banded topminnow is usually found in sluggish backwater areas of streams and rivers and in isolated flood pools disconnected from the main stream channel in drier months. This species probably spawns in April, as evidenced by our collection of more than 200 individuals in spawning condition from a small southern tributary to Choctawhatchee Bay in Walton County, Florida.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Hay described the banded topminnow in 1885.
Fundulus means bottom.
Auroguttatus means speckled or spotted gold.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.
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