central mudminnow

Central Mudminnow (Umbra limi)

This mudminnow is a small fish (3 1/2 inches or less) with a rounded tail. It has vertical bars on its sides.

The central mudminnow is widely distributed in the Allegheny system and Lake Erie in western New York, in the Niagara River, along the coastal plain of Lake Ontario, and in the St. Lawrence River system. It is scattered through central New York, including the Finger Lakes and Oneida Lake. There are few records of it from northeastern New York.

Mudminnows spawn in April. Pairs move to shallow water, where the female deposits 200 to 2,000 adhesive eggs, which separately stick to vegetation. No parental care is given the eggs, which hatch in about 1 week, or the young. Dwelling in the muddy bottom waters of streams, ponds, and marshes, the adults are predominately plankton and insect eaters.

Mudminnows are good aquarium fish because of their hardiness and tolerance of low dissolved oxygen levels in water.


Distribution of the central mudminnow in NY state. Dark dots represent where actual samples of central mudminnows were taken. White dots represent historic distributions.

An image of the central mudminnow is also available for download.

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