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Wildlife Plains Topminnow Page


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This photograph may be used for non-commercial purposes.  Please give credit to the photographer.
Photo by: John Woodling
 Plains Topminnow
 Fundulus sciadicus

Habitat: Plains topminnows have specialized habitat requirements. Populations in Colorado are found in waters where there is abundant filamentous algal growths and still, clear water. Propst (1982) found that the plains topminnow, usually collected alone at most sites, was sometimes collected with the plains killifish.

Description: A small, stout topminnow; head broad and flat; mouth terminal and upturned; origin of anal fin only slightly forward of origin of dorsal fin; dorsal fin with 9-12 rays; anal fin with 12-15 rays; tail fin somewhat rounded, scales large, 33-37 in lateral line. Adults are green-olivaceous in color on the back, fading to a white-silver stomach. Sides without bars. Fin iridescent in summer with red tips and blue-purple bands inside red tips. A small fish, this species is seldom larger than 2.5 inches in length.

Range in Colorado: The species is native to Colorado (Jordan 1891). Nowhere is the species reported to be widespread and is usually found in isolated colonies. Colorado populations are found in isolated colonies in cool, foothills streams, intermittant plains streams, and the lower mainstem South Platte River (Propst 1982). Recent collections have demonstrated the species is now present in the White River, undoubtedly the result of an inadvertant introduction by man (Wick et al. 1981).

Status: This species is not listed.






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