The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Umbra limi
Umbra limi
(Central Mudminnow)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
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).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Umbra limi are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CT198620124Outlet Connecticut River; Quinebaug River; Quinnipiac; Saugatuck
IN199519952Driftwood; Mississinewa
IA201620161North Raccoon
ME199920202Penobscot River; Saint Francis River-Saint John River
MA195720194Ashuelot River-Connecticut River; Deerfield River; Outlet Connecticut River; Quinebaug River
MN199320084Le Sueur; Middle Red; Snake; Two Rivers
MT199020104Flathead Lake; Stillwater; Swan; Upper Clark Fork
NY199420098Black; Chemung; Hudson-Hoosic; Lower Hudson; Mohawk; Raquette; Upper Allegheny; Upper Hudson
ND200120011Lower Souris
OH196220043Hocking; Lower Scioto; Upper Ohio
OK196319712Arkansas-White-Red Region; Black Bear-Red Rock
SD200320031Upper Big Sioux
TN197419741Watts Bar Lake
TX196819681Lower Brazos-Little Brazos
VT200220192White River; Winooski River
VA196119611Upper James

Table last updated 5/27/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

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: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

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: 6/24/2011

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Umbra limi (Kirtland, 1841): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=977, Revision Date: 6/24/2011, Peer Review Date: 6/24/2011, Access Date: 5/27/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [5/27/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.