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blackstripe topminnow

blackstripe topminnow (Fundulus notatus) Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The blackstripe topminnow averages two to three and one-half inches in length. The top of its head is flattened, and the mouth is turned upward. There is a broad, dark band along the middle of the back and a dark stripe along each side. The dorsal fin is located far back on the body near the tail. This fish lacks a lateral line. The body is light brown on the back and white to yellow on the belly. The fins are yellow.


The blackstripe topminnow lives in creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes. This fish swims near the surface. It spawns from late spring through early summer. A breeding pair defends a small territory near the shore. The female deposits 20 to 30 eggs singly on plants or in algae. The blackstripe topminnow feeds mainly in the morning, late afternoon and evening, eating insects, crustaceans, algae and snails.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cyprinodontiformes
Family: Fundulidae

Illinois Status: common, native