Striped Killifish

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Project Description

Striped Killifish

Fundulus majalis

Range/Geographical Distribution:  New Hampshire to northern Florida and the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Habitat: Bays, estuaries, and marshes. 

Description: A small, silvery schooling fish.  Females are olive above and white below with dark longitudinal lines on their sides and vertical bars near the tail.  Males are dark olive above and yellowish below with 15-20 black vertical lines on their sides. 

Size: Can reach seven inches in length.

Food: Small crustaceans, mollusks, and worms.

Breeding:  Spawn in summer and males develop brighter coloration during breeding.  Females lay eggs in still, shallow water and have been observed burying the eggs.  Newly hatched fry can live off of the yolk sac for several days.

Predators:  Larger predatory fish, herons, egrets, and gulls. 

Conservation Status: No legal status.

Interesting Facts: Striped killifish have the ability to flop back into the water if they become stranded in tide pools.  They can jump unerringly toward the water and progress up to several feet at each jump.

On the Coast:  Commonly seen swimming in the shallow waters along Georgia’s coast, may also be found trapped in tide pools.

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