Fundulus diaphanus (Lesueur, 1817)
member of the Killifish Family (Fundulidae)
Long Meadow Lake outlet, Hennepin County, Minnesota 22 May 1990
photo by Konrad Schmidt
In a Name?
Do They Live?
Banded killifish are most common in the central and southern portions of the state and are rare to nonexistent in the cold waters of the northern portion of the state.
They live in lakes of all sizes, in the still backwaters of large rivers, and sections of streams (medium to large) where current is sluggish. They typically prefer shallow, clear, waters with a sandy to gravely bottom and large amounts of vegetation.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Adult banded killifish eat a variety of items including small crustaceans (ostracods, copepods, and amphipods), aquatic insects (midge larvae, caddisfly larvae, and dragonfly nymphs), mayfly nymphs, flying insects, and plant seeds. They eat from all parts of the water column, including the surface. The diet of young banded killifish is limited to fewer items, such as ostracods, copepods, and midge larvae. Both young and adults tend to feed mostly actively in the afternoon.
Do They Reproduce?
Males often fight each other for females, but they do little harm to one another. The winning male pushes the female toward nearby vegetation, where they both vibrate. The male releases sperm at the same time the female releases 5 to 10 eggs. These eggs have adhesive threads which become tangled in the vegetation. They repeat the spawning act until the female has laid an entire clutch, which may be 50 eggs or more. A single female may lay several clutches during the summer.
The embryos are left with no parental care at all and hatch in 10 to 12 days depending on the water temperature. Larvae are about 6 to 7 mm long when they hatch.
Permission is granted for the non-commercial educational or scientific use of the text and images on this Web document. Please credit the author or authors listed below.
Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 23 October 2002