SCIENTIFIC NAME: Fundulus albolineatus
CHARACTERISTICS: The extinct whiteline topminnow is a member of the subgenus Xenisma. Information is limited, since few specimens were ever collected, but it indicates similarities to the Barrens topminnow, Fundulus julisia (Williams and Etnier, 1982.). The following color description of the whiteline topminnow is from Gilbert (1891): “Males blackish brown, the sides plumbeous, the rows of scales with interrupted whitish streaks, most conspicuous on hinder half of body. A black streak along middle line of back. Vertical fins dusky, the caudal becoming translucent on distal half, its margin abruptly and narrowly black-edged. Females olivaceous, dusky on back, silvery below, the back and sides with narrow black lines following the rows of scales. Fins translucent, the dorsal sometimes with fine black specks at the base, the caudal black-edged.”
ADULT SIZE: 3.3 in (84 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: Fundulus albolineatus was described from specimens collected at Spring Creek, Madison County, Alabama. The type locality is now in the middle of metropolitan Huntsville and, along with the surrounding area, has been developed into a recreational park. The downstream spring run has been extensively modified, leaving little chance that populations still exist there. The last individuals of the whiteline topminnow were collected in 1889.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Nothing is known about the biology of this species, but it is presumed to be similar to that of F. julisia (Williams and Etnier, 1982). Fundulus julisia occurs in heavily vegetated springs and stream pools in the eastern Highland Rim of Tennessee. The peak reproductive period for this species is in May and June, and spawning occurs over clumps of filamentous algae. Its diet consists of aquatic invertebrates associated with spring habitats (including microcrustaceans, midges, mayflies, and snails).
REMARKS: The type locality is Spring Creek, Madison County, Alabama.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Gilbert described the whiteline topminnow in 1891.
Fundulus means bottom.
Albolineatus means white line, which runs along the sides of live individuals.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.