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Home > Biological Info > Gulf Killifish

Biological Info: Gulf Killifish

Gulf Killifish

Scientific Name:
Fundulus grandis
Common Names:
Cocahoe, Bull Minnow, Mud Minnow
Range & Habitat:
Gulfwide in very shallow, inshore estuarine waters. They are common in all salinities except permanently fresh water. Mud bottoms are preferred.
Identification & Biology:
Gulf killifish are bronze-gray in color, although spawning males will be darker with glittering specks of color. It has only one dorsal fin and no spines in any of its fins. It is the largest of the eight species of killifish in the Gulf states and any killifish over 3 inches long without bars on its sides is likely a Gulf killifish. It is an extremely tough fish, able to survive low oxygen, drought, high temperatures, and winter freezes. In the northern Gulf they spawn from March to September, with a peak in March-April and another in August-September. Spawning may occur year-round in southern Gulf regions. The eggs hatch in 10-21 days, depending on temperature. They reach 12 inches in 4 to 5 months. Adults are aggressive, in spite of their small size, eating crabs, fish, shrimp, worms, insects, and pieces of plants. Gulf killifish are extremely popular as bait and are heavily trapped in some areas. Populations generally reach their low point in May, before the new spawn has grown large enough to trap. Some progress has been made on aquaculturing these fish.
Up to 6 inches.
Food Value:
None. They are heavily used as a bait fish for red drum, spotted seatrout and southern flounder.

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