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Mummichog
(Fundulus heteroclitus)

Size:
    Up to 5 inches (130 mm).
Range:
    In shallow waters along the east coast of North America from Newfoundland to Florida.
 

A year-round resident of tidal creeks and wetlands, this brownish-green saltwater minnow may reach a maximum length of 5 inches. Its Indian name means "they go in great numbers." It is also known as the common killifish.

A hardy fish, the mummichog is an important food source for larger fish and is often used as bait. The mummichog also has been used as a natural method of mosquito control in marsh ponds and ditches. It has been reported that one mummichog can eat as many as 2,000 mosquito larvae ("wrigglers") a day. The mummichog also feeds on other insects, small fish, crustaceans, and plant material.

Mummichogs emerge from their mud burrows in the spring as the water begins to warm. In spawning season, from April to September, the male's coloration becomes more striking. He turns a darker greenish brown with bright blue spots. His belly may range from white to orange. The females are more pale in color, from olive to green, with a pale underside. The female deposits her eggs in the marsh on the high spring tide. About two weeks later, on the next spring tide, the eggs hatch and the young return to tidal ditches and pools.

Interactive Habitat Laughing GullGreat Blue Heron
Diamondback TerrapinSmooth Cordgrass (Spartina)Mummichog
Blue CrabHorseshoe Crab Osprey Eelgrass Moon Jellyfish
Loggerhead Turtle Summer Flounder Sea Fan Sand Tiger Shark
Tubeworms (Riftia) Black Smoker (Hydrothermal Vent) Humpback Whale
R/V Capt. Thomas White R/V Cape Henlopen

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