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.

Fundulus catenatus
Fundulus catenatus
(Northern Studfish)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Fundulus catenatus (Storer, 1846)

Common name: Northern Studfish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994); Pflieger (1997).

Size: 18 cm.

Native Range: Upper East Fork White River system, Indiana; upper Salt and Kentucky River drainages, Kentucky; upper Green, middle, and lower Cumberland, and Tennessee River drainages, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi; west of Mississippi River (primarily Ozark and Ouachita uplands) in central and southern Missouri, southeastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and southern Arkansas; southwestern Mississippi in Mississippi (Coles Creek, Homochitto River, and Buffalo Bayou) and Gulf Slope drainages (Amite River and Pearl River) (Page and Burr 1991). Recently reported from the Amity River in Louisiana (Warren and Denette 1992).

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 Fundulus catenatus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
IA197219721Lower Wapsipinicon
KY197520187Licking; Lower Kentucky; Lower Levisa; Rolling Fork; Salt; Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland; Upper Kentucky
MS197319782Amite; Middle Pearl-Silver
MO196020127Cuivre; Elk; James; Lamine; Lower Gasconade; Lower Missouri; Lower Missouri-Moreau
OH199520214Little Miami; Lower Scioto; Raccoon-Symmes; Upper Ohio-Wheeling
OK195419553Elk; Lake O' The Cherokees; Lower Neosho
WV198720021Upper Ohio-Wheeling

Table last updated 7/13/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Bait bucket transfer may be responsible for most of the introductions in Kentucky, although some may be a result of stream capture (Burr and Warren 1986). The Oklahoma introductions are believed to be the result of a bait introduction prior to 1954 (Hall 1956; Pflieger 1997). This species was not taken from the Elk River drainage of Missouri until the 1960s, and Pflieger (1997) concluded that these populations represent range extensions and are descended from Northern Studfish originally introduced into northeastern Oklahoma streams. In West Virginia, the introductions may have been a result of bait bucket release, aquarium release, or pond escape (Cincotta et al. 1990).

Status: Established or possibly established in Middle Creek, Rockhouse Fork, and Licking rivers, Kentucky. Collected elsewhere in Kentucky (Burr and Warren 1986). Established in Missouri, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Seven individuals were collected in West Virginia and the size distribution of these specimens indicate reproduction had occurred (Cincotta et al. 1990). Established in the Little Miami drainage in Ohio.  Reported from eastern and souther Ohio (M. Kibbey, pers. comm.).

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: Stauffer et al. (1995) listed species as native to Middle Grave Creek in West Virginia. Although it was present in 1987, surveys in this same area in 1982 failed to find this species (Cincotta et al. 1990), suggesting an introduction.

Voucher specimens: Ohio (OSUM 77871, 104822).

References: (click for full references)

Branson, B.A., and D.L. Batch. 1971. Stream capture in Kentucky indicated by distributional records of Fundulus catenatus and Etheostoma spectabile. American Midland Naturalist 86:496-500.

Burr, B.M., and L.M. Page. 1986. Zoogeography of the fises of the lower Ohio-upper Mississippi basin. 287-324 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Burr, B.M., and M.L. Warren, Jr. 1986. A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission Scientific and Technical Series 4. 398 pp.

Cincotta, D.A., K.D. Bladsoe, and F. Jernejcic. Addition of Fundulus catenatus (Storer) to West Virginia's ichthyofauna. Proceedings of the West Virginia Acadamy of Science 62(2):51-56.

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tenneessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Hall, G.E. 1956. Additions to the fish fauna of Oklahoma with a summary of introduced species. Southwestern Naturalist 1(1):16-26.

Jenkins, R.E., and N.M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater Fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

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.

Pflieger, W.L. 1971. A distributional study of Missouri fishes. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History  20(3):225-570.

Pflieger, W.L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO.

Pflieger, W.L. 1997. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO.

Ross, W.T. 2001. The inland fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS.

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

Warren, M.A., and P.E. Denette. 1992. Addition of the northern studfish Fundulus catenatus (Fundulidae) to the fish fauna of Louisiana. Proceedings of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences. 55:31-33.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 1/29/2013

Peer Review Date: 1/29/2013

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Fundulus catenatus (Storer, 1846): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=683, Revision Date: 1/29/2013, Peer Review Date: 1/29/2013, Access Date: 7/13/2024

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 [7/13/2024].

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.