Central Mudminnow, Umbra limi

The central mudminnow (Umbra limi) is a species of freshwater fish found in central and eastern North American lakes, streams and wetlands. Its range includes the Appalachian Mountains, St Lawrence River, The Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and many other centrally located waters and tributaries. They prefer slow moving marshland, around ponds and rivers, but with their habitat being destroyed by human development, it is likely to see a decline in population. It can tolerate low oxygen levels allowing it to inhabit water other fish can not.

The length of the central mudminnow is between .08 to .16 inches. The color of this fish is a shade of brown with a pale belly. They prefer to be in schools instead of being alone, this is known as being a shoaling fish.

Central mudminnow’s diet consists of amphipods and macro-invertebrates. It is prey to a wide variety other fish along with birds, foxes and snakes if found out of the water. To protect itself from predators, the mudminnow will bury itself into the mud or sand.

The mudminnow typically spawns in mid-April when the temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit or more. The female will lay approximately 2,500 eggs in a season in shallow water. The larvae will hatch in about six days. The average lifespan for this fish is three years old, but can live to be five or six. The female is generally larger than the male.

Image Caption: Central mudminnow (Umbra limi). Credit: Ellen Edmonson and Hugh Chrisp/Wikimedia (public domain)