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Fundulus heteroclitus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CYPRINODONTIFORMES FUNDULIDAE

Scientific Name: Fundulus heteroclitus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English Mummichog

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-02-01
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations, large population size, apparently stable trend, and lack of major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Atlantic Coast from Gulf of St. Lawrence to northeastern. Florida (Page and Burr 2011).

Subspecies macrolepidotus: Newfoundland south to Connecticut, with disjunct populations in upper Chesapeake and Delaware bays. Subspecies heteroclitus: New Jersey south to Florida, including lower southern Chesapeake and Delaware bays. (Morin and Able 1983, Able and Felley 1986). These distributions are supported by morphological (Able and Felley 1986, Morin and Able 1983) and nuclear gene data (see Brown and Chapman 1991).
Countries:
Native:
Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Total adult population size is unknown but very large. This species is common in much of its range.

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Mummichogs are common in salt marsh flats, estuaries, and tidal creeks, especially where there is abundant submergent and emergent vegetation. Adults use intertidal zone only when it is flooded; young remain on marsh even at low tide, inhabiting shallow puddles (Kneib 1986). They occasionally enter freshwater streams and rivers (Lee et al. 1980, Page and Burr 2011). Individuals may burrow into bottom mud in winter. Spawning occurs in fresh, brackish, or saltwater; generally in estuarine and salt marsh environments. Eggs are laid in various sites at levels reached only by high spring tides; usually in sand in New England populations and in Spartina alterniflora or empty Geukensia demissa shells in Middle Atlantic and southern populations (Taylor 1986). Eggs normally incubate in air (aerial incubation apparently is essential for survival), not submerged until next spring tide. Abrupt decreases in salinity (e.g. due to spring freshets) may decrease fertilization success and increase larval mortality in local populations (Able and Palmer 1988).
Systems: Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action.

Citation: NatureServe 2013. Fundulus heteroclitus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 03 September 2014.
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