SCIENTIFIC NAME: Fundulus notti
CHARACTERISTICS: Adult bayou topminnow males have seven or eight rows of dots along the sides and nine to 15 dark vertical bars of even width, which extend below the lowest row of dots onto the venter and anteriorly to or nearly to the pectoral fin base. Adult females have six to eight side stripes interconnected by extensive dark pigmentation. The side dots of females are randomly distributed, and two to six thin, subdermal vertical bars frequently mark the caudal peduncle. Males are generally olive brown to green on the back, fading to white on the venter, with the dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins faint yellow near the margin. Females are generally darker brown along the back with colorless fins. Fundulus notti is a member of the subgenus Zygonectes and is closely related phylogenetically to F. lineolatus and F. escambiae, the lined and russetfin topminnows (Wiley, 1977).
ADULT SIZES: 1.2 to 2.6 in (30 to 65 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: The bayou topminnow has a limited distribution, ranging from the Mobile basin west to the Lake Pontchartrain drainage in Louisiana. In Alabama, the species occurs in the Alabama and Tombigbee river drainages, the Mobile Delta, the Escatawpa River drainage, and tributaries to Mobile Bay.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Fundulus notti prefers swamps, sloughs, quiet backwaters of overflow pools, borrow pits near large streams, and slow-moving, shallow pools in streams. Though little is known about the bayou topminnow’s biology, it presumably resembles other species in the F. notti species group, breeding in late spring and early summer and eating terrestrial insects, small crustaceans, and possibly plant material. Cook (1959) reports observing gravid individuals in mid-May in south Mississippi; they were in warm water full of water grass, green algae, bladderwort, and arrowheads.
REMARKS: The type locality for the bayou topminnow is reported to be in the vicinity of Mobile, Mobile County.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Agassiz described the bayou topminnow in 1854.
Fundulus means bottom.
Notti is in honor of Dr. Josiah Clark Nott, physician, friend of Louis Agassiz, and the discoverer of the species.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.