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Species: Fundulus majalis, Striped Killifish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout pointed, long
D 11-16, origin before A origin
male: 10-15 bars
female: 1-3 dark stripes + bars on tail base
tail base least depth > 13% SL
chin pores 7-8
gill rakers 6-10
scales: lateral scales 33-37, around body 26-32

Fundulus majalis (Walbaum, 1792)

Striped Killifish

Body slender elongate, compressed; head flattened above, with straight to slightly concave; snout long, pointed; cover of eye not continuous with head skin; front nostril not tubular; mouth small, oblique, opens at front, protrusible, distinctly below level of center of eye; top jaw twisted, lower jaw projecting; 7-8 pores under chin; jaws with outer row of pointed conical teeth, inner band of simple teeth; gill rakers short, 6-10; no spines in fins; dorsal fin short based, its origin distinctly before anal fin origin, 11-16 rays; anal fin with 3rd fin ray branched, 9-13 rays; pectoral with narrow base, rounded, inserted low on side, 16-21 rays; pelvics inserted well behind pectoral base; least depth of tail base >13% SL; tail fin bluntly rounded; small smooth scales, 33-37 midlateral rows, 26-32 around the body; lateral line reduced to a series of pits along side of body.

Female pale olive above, with 1-3 narrow black stripes along side and up to several narrow black bars on tail base. Male dark olive, with 10-15 narrow dark bars, a dark blotch above pectoral fin base, often a dark spot at rear of dorsal fin.

Reaches 15 cm.

Bays, estuaries and coastal marshes; brackish and marine.

Depth range: 0-1 m.

New Hampshire to SE Florida.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1