University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

Killifish family - cyprinodontidae,   pp. 753-765 ff. PDF (5.2 MB)

Page 763

Starhead Topminnow   763 
Starhead Topminnow 
Fundulus notti (Agassiz). Fundulus-fundus, meaning 
     bottom, the abode of the "Fundulus mudfish"; 
     notti-named for Dr. Nott, its discoverer. 
Other common names: topminnow, striped minnow, 
     striped topminnow, blackeyed topminnow. 
Male 47 mm, Wisconsin R. (Iowa Co.), 31 July 1965 
Female 50 mm, Wisconsin R. (Iowa Co.), 31 July 1965 
Body deep, moderately compressed, top of head and 
nape flattened. Length 47-55 mm (1.9-2.2 in). TL = 
1.30 SL. Depth into SL 3.5-4.0. Head length into SL 
3.3-3.7. Snout pointed in lateral view, broadly rounded 
in dorsal view. Mouth small, oblique, and opening 
dorsally; lower jaw slightly projecting; minute, 
needlelike teeth in bands on upper and lower jaws. 
Dorsal fin far posterior on back, distinctly behind ori- 
gin of anal fin; dorsal fin rays 8-9; anal fin rays 11; 
pelvic fin rays 6; caudal fin rounded. Scales large, cy- 
cloid; lateral series 30-34; lateral line absent. Diges- 
tive tract short, about three-fourths SL. Chromo- 
somes 2n = 46 (Chen 1971). 
  Back and upper sides light olive to tan; lower sides 
and belly lighter to yellowish. Series of red to brown 
dots forming 7-8 horizontal lines along sides. Promi- 
nent dark blotch ("teardrop") beneath eye, slanting 
slightly posteriorly. In male the dorsal, caudal, and 
anal fins with dark spots (reddish in life), sometimes 
arranged in bands; in female, fins not so marked. 
Pectoral and pelvic fins lightly pigmented or clear. 
  Sexual dimorphism: Male with 11-12 narrow, up- 
right bars along side; bars diffuse or absent in female. 
In male, dorsal and anal fins large and long, reaching 
or almost reaching rayed base of caudal fin; in fe- 
male, distance from the ends of the dorsal and anal 
fins to the rayed base of caudal fin about half the 
length of each fin. 
Although Wiley and Hall (1975) and Wiley (1977) 
treated the notti complex as a series of five species, 
the Committee on Names of Fishes (Robins et al. 1980) 
retained all (excepting F. lineolatus) in species notti. 
Geographic populations can be recognized as sub- 
species. The Wisconsin form is Fundulus notti dispar. 
In Wisconsin, the starhead topminnow occurs in the 
Mississippi River drainage in four specific, disjunct 
centers: in the Spring Green to Sauk City sector of 
the Wisconsin River; in the lower Sugar River and 
Coon Creek of the Rock River drainage; in the Muk- 
wonago River watershed of the Fox River basin; and 
in the Black River near La Crosse. 
  Specimens examined: UWSP 1192 (5) Wisconsin 
River slough T8N R5E Sec 1 (Iowa County), 1965; 
UWSP 5185 (1) Wisconsin River slough T9N R6E Sec 
20 (Dane County), 1973. The Wisconsin Fish Distri- 
bution Study (1974-1978) reported: (2) unnamed 
drainage ditch TIN R1OE Sec 19 (Rock County), 
1974; (1) unnamed channel Black River T17N R8W 
Sec 17 (La Crosse County), 1978. Other reports: Tay- 
lor Creek TIN R1OE Sec 6 (Rock County), 1965 (M. 
Johnson); Coon Creek T1N Rl1E Sec 27 (Rock County) 
(L. Lovshin); Lake Beulah (Walworth County) (Greene 
1935); Mukwonago Millpond     =   Phantom  Lake 
(Waukesha County) (Cahn 1927); Mukwonago River 
below Phantom Lake Dam (Waukesha County), 1968 
(M. Johnson) and 1974 (Seeburger 1975); Mukwon- 
ago River at Hwy 83 (Waukesha County), 1975 (T. 
Krischan); three sites (specifics lacking, not plotted 
on map) in sloughs along the Wisconsin River be- 
tween Hwy 14 at Spring Green and Sauk City (Sauk 
County), 1968 (M. Johnson). 
  Although Greene (1935) recorded the starhead top- 
minnow from Lake Beulah (Walworth County), it has 
not been taken there since the 1920s (Seeburger 
1975). In the fall of 1974, it was reported as common 
in the Mukwonago River below the Phantom Lake 
Dam (Waukesha County); 18 specimens were taken 
from a slough of the Wisconsin River (Iowa County) 
in 1965. 

Go up to Top of Page