Umbra limi
Umbra limi
(Central Mudminnow)
Native Transplant
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Umbra limi (Kirtland, 1841)

Common name: Central Mudminnow

Synonyms and Other Names: (western mudminnow, mud minnow, Mississippi mud minnow).

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Smith (1985); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993). Mudminnows superficially resemble topminnows (family Fundulidae), but can be distinguished by the lack of protrusible upper jaw in U. limi (Hartel et al. 2002).

Size: 14 cm.

Native Range: St. Lawrence-Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from Quebec to Manitoba and south to central Ohio, western Tennessee, and northeastern Arkansas; Hudson River drainage (Atlantic Slope), New York. Isolated populations in Missouri River drainage of east central South Dakota and western Iowa (Page and Burr 1991).

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Puerto Rico &
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Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: The Central Mudminnow has been introduced to the Connecticut River and is found throughout most of its length in Connecticut (Schmidt 1986; Whitworth 1996) and in three or four localities in the Connecticut River Valley in Massachusetts (Schmidt 1986; Hartel 1992; Hartel et al. 1996) and established in Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (USFWS 2005). It was first collected in Maine waters in 1999 from the vicinity of Caribou Bog (Halliwell 2003), and from the St. John River upstream of Fort Kent in 2005 (Schilling et al 2006).  It was reported from Blacktail Creek in Silverbow County, Butte, Montana, in 1990 (Holton 1990). It was also listed as introduced to nonspecific area(s) in Oklahoma (Moore and Riggs 1963). A single specimen was taken from Keystone Lake, north of Cleveland, Oklahoma, in September 1971 (Pigg et al. 1996). This species was collected from Fish Lake, a pond on the Texas A&M range area in College Station, Texas, during treatment of the pond (Champ et al. 1973).

Ecology: Commonly found in slow moving streams, creeks, drainage ditches, and ponds with abundant vegetation and bottom layer of organic matter (Scott and Crossman 1973). Primarily consumes benthic invertebrates (ostracods, cladocerans, copepods, chironomids, gastropods) and occasionally small fishes (Peckham and Dineen 1957).

Means of Introduction: Released lab animals in Massachusetts. First collected in 1975 in Massachusetts (Hartel et al. 2002). Unknown in Maine, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Biologists of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation found a single specimen in a shipment of fathead minnows from a fish farm in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma (Pigg et al. 1996).

Status: Established in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine. Reported in Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: This species is sometimes used as a baitfish by anglers (Scott and Crossman 1973). Although Stauffer et al. (1995) had no records from West Virginia, they expected it to occur in the Ohio River tributaries in the northern portion of the state.

Voucher specimens: Oklahoma (OSUS 23256).

References: (click for full references)

Halliwell, D.B. 2003. Introduced Fish in Maine. MABP series: Focus on Freshwater Biodiversity.

Hartel, K.E., D.B. Halliwell, and A.E. Launer. 2002. Inland fishes of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln, MA.

Holton, G. D. 1990. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, MT. 104 pp.

Moore, G. A., and C. D. Riggs. 1963. Checklist of known Oklahoma fishes. Pages 41-44 in Oklahoma Wildlife Commission. Know Your Oklahoma Fishes. Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma City, OK.

Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Peckham, R.S., and C.F. Dineen. 1957. Ecology of the central mudminnow, Umbra limi (Kirtland). American Midland Naturalist 58:222-231.

Scott, W. B., and E. J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin 184. Ottawa. 966 pp.

Schilling, E.G., D.B. Halliwell, A.M. Gulla, and J.K. Markowsky. 2006. First records of Umbra limi (central mudminnow) in Maine. Northeastern Naturalist. 13(2):287-290.

Stauffer, J.R. Jr., J.M. Boltz, and L.R. White. 1995. The fishes of West Virginia. West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

Whitworth, W. R. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Bulletin 114.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 6/24/2011

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Umbra limi (Kirtland, 1841): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 6/24/2011, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/20/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/20/2018].

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