Blackstripe Topminnow (Fundulus notatus)

The entire Canadian population of this small freshwater fish lives along a 60 kilometre stretch of the Sydenham River in southwestern Ontario. The blackstripe topminnow gets its name from the horizontal black stripe that runs the length of its body along its sides.

Blackstripe topminnows live for two to three years. They are usually found in slow-moving water where vegetation along the river bank provides a good amount of edge cover. They tend to stay near the surface in summer and feed on insects. They also eat insect larvae in the water, as well as tiny molluscs, spiders and crustaceans.  

These fish depend on vegetation, both in-stream and along the banks, especially as a source for the insects they eat. Livestock can threaten this vegetation as well, when wetlands are drained, the flow of creeks and streams can change, affecting the size and health of blackstripe topminnow populations. Taking water from streams to irrigate farmland leaves this fish especially at risk in times of low water or drought.

blackstripe topminnow