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Bayou topminnow
FMIB 51386 Star-Headed Minnow Fundulus nottii.jpeg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
  • Zygonectes nottii Agassiz, 1854
  • Zygonectes guttatus Agassiz, 1854
  • Fundulus guttatus (Agassiz, 1854)
  • Zygonectes hieroglyphicus Agassiz, 1854
  • Fundulus hieroglyphicus (Agassiz, 1854)

Fundulus nottii, the bayou topminnow or southern starhead topminnow, is a fish of the family Fundulidae [1] found in the southeastern United States.


It is a small topminnow with a sub-ocular teardrop, a terminal to superior mouth, and a rounded caudal fin. The top of the head is flat, with the large scale (located just anterior to a line between the eyes) overlapped by the pair of scales just behind it. The lateral line is absent, and there are 11 preoperculomandibular pores. The sensory pores are fused. There are 7-8 dorsal rays, 9-10 anal rays, 11-12 pectoral rays, and 6 pelvic rays. During the breeding season males develop prickly contact organs on the anal fin. The Largest reported specimen was 65mm (2.6 in) long. They are sexually dimorphic. Both sexes have a back that is olive green with a thin dorsal stripe, sides that are white or silver with an iridescent blue or silvery overlay, and a dark, iridescent blue-green suborbital teardrop. Males have vertical black bars and irregular horizontal rows of red-brown spots. Females have horizontal flank stripes. Fins have a reddish-brown color.


Although not much is known about its biology, the bayou topminnow is presumed to feed near the surface, where it consumes drifting organic matter, insects, and other animals associated with the water surface.


Bayou topminnows occur in and around shoreline vegetation of clear lakes and ponds, backwaters, and overflow pools of large rivers.

Reproduction and life cycle

As with other topminnows, this species presumably has a spawning season that peaks in May or June, more protracted seasons may occur in some areas. Larvae of this species has not yet been described.


The bayou topminnow is found from the Brazos River drainages in Texas east through the Gulf Coastal Plain and the Mobile Basin.

Species description

This species was described by as Zygonectes notti in 1854 by Louis Agassiz with the type locality given as Mobile, Alabama. The specific name honors the surgeon and anthropologist Josiah C. Nott (1804-1873) who sent Aggasiz the type from Mobile.

  • Page,L.M., H. Espinosa-Perez, L.T. Findley, C.R. Gilbert, R.N. Lea, N.E. Mandrak, R.L. Mayden, and J.S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of the fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, 7th edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Page,Ross, S. T. 2001. The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson. 624 p.
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