Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Fundulus chrysotus, Golden Topminnow, Golden Topminnow Killifish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body: male ~12 dark bars + red spots, female pearl & red spots
sometimes many black spots
D 9, origin behind A origin
gill rakers 6-8
8 chin pores
preoperculum 7 pores
A usually 8
scales around tail base 20

Fundulus chrysotus (Gunther, 1866)

Golden Topminnow, Golden Topminnow Killifish

Body moderately slender, compressed; head flattened above, with straight upper profile; snout short, < eye diameter; cover of eye not continuous with head skin; front nostril not tubular; mouth small, oblique, opens at front, protrusible, top jaw twisted, lower jaw projecting; 8 pores on chin; jaws with outer row of pointed conical teeth, inner band of simple teeth; gill rakers 6-8; no spines in fins; dorsal fin short based, its origin behind midpoint of body, and behind anal fin origin, 9 (8-10) rays; anal fin with 3rd fin ray branched, usually 8 rays; pectoral with narrow base, rounded, inserted low on side; pelvics inserted well behind pectoral base; tail fin bluntly rounded; small smooth scales, 32-34 midlateral rows, 20 around tail base; lateral line reduced to a series of pits along side of body.

Males olive brown, with a dark streak on midback before dorsal fin; 6-12 narrow dark brown bars on flank; fins clear to reddish, with lines of small dark spots on fin rays. Females olive brown, with a dark streak along midback before dorsal fin; pearl colored spots and reddish-brown spots scattered over sides; fins transparent to golden, with rows of small dark spots along rays. Both sexes sometimes with body and dorsal, tail and anal fins heavily marked with small black spots

Reaches 8.5 cm.

Fresh to brackish water; mainly in still freshwater.

Depth range: 0-1 m.

South Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • 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 endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1