Family Umbridae - Mudminnow Family
Mudminnows are small fishes with a long, slender body, cycloid scales, one dorsal fin, no fin spines and dorsal and anal fins set far back on the body. These fishes can breathe atmospheric oxygen and therefore may live in water which many other fishes find unfit.
central mudminnow (Umbra limi)
Photo © Uland Thomas
Features and Behaviors
The central mudminnow may attain a length of two to four inches. A black bar is present at the base of the tail ﬁn. The front of the dorsal ﬁn is located far ahead of the front of the anal ﬁn. There is no lateral line. The top and sides of the head are covered with scales. A ridge of skin attaches the upper lip to the snout at its midpoint. The tail ﬁn is rounded. The back and sides are green to dark brown, and the sides may have dark brown bars. The belly is white or yellow. The breeding male has blue-green anal and pelvic ﬁns. The central mudminnow has a life span of about seven to nine years.
The central mudminnow may be found in the northern one-third, the southeastern one-fourth and the Illinois River in Illinois. This ﬁsh lives in streams, peatlands, swamps and other wetlands where there is much mud and submerged debris and vegetation. The central mudminnow is tolerant of extremes in water temperature and low oxygen levels. It can gulp air at the surface and absorb oxygen through its swim bladder. This ﬁsh spawns in April, scattering the eggs over vegetation. No parental care is given to eggs or young. The central mudminnow eats invertebrates and ﬁshes.