Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

A euryhaline species found only in a limited number of small, isolated fresh water, brackish water, and marine ponds (Ref. 59051). Recent study confines the distribution of this species to seven small, anchialine ponds in Bermuda (Ref. 59049). Total estimated population is 15,200 individuals in Mangrove Lake which is the largest anchialine pond in Bermuda (Ref. 59049). Non-annual killifish (Ref. 27139). May form loose schools consisting of equally sized individuals (Ref. 59051). An omnivorous fish, feeding on filamentous green algae, plant material, mollusks, crustaceans and insects (Ref. 59156). The main predators include a variety of birds (mostly herons), and fishes (eastern mosquito fish Gambusia holbrooki, gray snapper Lutjanus griseus, and American eel, Anguilla rostrata). Additionally, it is believed that the introduced and invasive red-eared terrapin Trachemys scripta elegans is a significant predator in a limited number of ponds (Ref. 59051). Spawning period occurs from February to September in Mangrove Lake, with primary peaks in May and June for males and females, respectively (Ref. 59049).
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Distribution

Western Central Atlantic: Endangered and endemic species found in Bermuda with highly fragmented populations and a very limited range (Ref. 59049).Fundulus bermudae is believed to be a descendant of the Fundulus heteroclitus - F. grandis species group originating from populations on the east coast of North America (Ref. 59062). It is presently believed that none of the killifish ponds in Bermuda contain mixed populations of Fundulus bermudae and F. relictus.
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Bermuda.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 90 mm TL
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Max. size

12.9 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 59051)); max. published weight: 17.0 g (Ref. 59049); max. published weight: 21.4 g
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Type Information

Type for Fundulus rhizophorae
Catalog Number: USNM 21943
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Bermuda, Atlantic
  • Type:
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Paratype for Fundulus rhizophorae
Catalog Number: USNM 111523
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Bermuda, Atlantic
  • Paratype:
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

benthopelagic; non-migratory; freshwater; brackish; marine
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Trophic Strategy

Found in isolated pond environments like anchialine ponds which is rather exceptional in that these ponds are characterised by saline, land-locked bodies of water with subterranean connections to the sea (Ref. 59049).
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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Wikipedia

Bermuda killifish

The Bermuda killifish (Fundulus bermudae) is a small fish which is endemic to the islands of Bermuda in the western Atlantic Ocean. It belongs to the genus Fundulus in the Fundulidae family of killifish and topminnows.

It can grow up to 12.9 centimetres in length and 21.4 grams in weight. The male is dark green with a yellow underside and a dark spot on the dorsal fin when spawning. The female is brown or olive in colour, paler below.

It was formerly common in fresh and brackish ponds and marshes throughout Bermuda. It has a declined as a result of destruction and modification of its habitat by humans and was listed as a protected species in the Bermuda Protected Species Act of 2003. It is currently known from just seven ponds: Mangrove Lake, Trott's Pond, West and East Walsingham Ponds, Warwick Pond, Evan's Pond and an introduced population in Blue Hole Pond. The populations in Lover's Lake and Bartram's Pond are now thought to be a separate species, Lover's Lake killifish (F. relictus). Some of the other populations of Bermuda killifish may also be separate species.

Its omnivorous diet includes green algae, molluscs, crustaceans and insects. Its predators include herons, grey snappers and American eels, as well as the introduced eastern mosquitofish and red-eared terrapins.

References

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