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Species: Lucania parva, Rainwater Killifish

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front D: black spot
1 row hooked teeth
< / = 8 scale rows origin D to origin A

Lucania parva (Baird & Girard, 1855)

Rainwater Killifish

Body robust, elongate, compressed at rear; head blunt, flattened above with straight upper profile; front nostril not tubular; cover of eye not continuous with head skin; mouth small, oblique, protrusible, lower jaw slightly projecting; jaws with a single row of hooked teeth; gill rakers short, 7 lower rakers; no spines in fins; dorsal fin short based, at about midbody, a little behind pelvic base, 9-14 rays; anal fin origin under middle of dorsal fin base, 3rd fin ray branched, 8-13 rays; tail fin bluntly rounded; pectoral with narrow base, rounded, inserted low on side, 10-15 rays; pelvics inserted well behind pectoral; large smooth scales, 28-31 on lateral line, 8 or fewer between origin of dorsal fin and origin of anal fin; lateral line reduced to a series of pits along side of body.

Pale green, olive or brown above; with pigment outlining scales; a vertical oval black spot at front of the dorsal fin; males with inner ½ of tail fin orangish, outer margin blackish; anal and pelvic fins with reddish, black edged margins.

Reaches 7 cm.

Freshwater, brackish water and marine; in quiet vegetated areas.

Depth range: 0-1 m.

Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Water column
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
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
  • 7
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1