Common name: Central Mudminnow
Synonyms and Other Names: (western mudminnow, mud minnow, Mississippi mud minnow).
available through www.itis.gov
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).
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.
Table last updated 9/23/2023
† 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.
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.
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson
Revision Date: 6/24/2011
Peer Review Date: 6/24/2011
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2023, 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: 9/23/2023
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.