Banded Killifish (Newfoundland)

Fundulus diaphanus

SARA Status
No Status
NS
Special Concern
SC
Threatened
TH
Endangered
EN
Extirpated
EX

SARA Status

  • No Status NS
  • Special Concern SC
  • Threatened TH
  • Endangered EN
  • Extirpated EX
COSEWIC Status
Not at Risk
NR
Special Concern
SC
Threatened
TH
Endangered
EN
Extirpated
EX

COSEWIC Status

  • Not at Risk NR
  • Special Concern SC
  • Threatened TH
  • Endangered EN
  • Extirpated EX

Description

The Banded Killifish is a small fish, between 5 and 10 cm long, which can live in salt or fresh water, although it prefers the latter. It is pale olive in colour with gray to black vertical bands irregularly spaced along its body. Male Banded Killifish have light bands that are more distinct at spawning time. The female has darker thin bands that are spaced farther apart. The Banded Killifish spawns in the summer, attaching its eggs to aquatic plants. It feeds on small crustaceans, insects, larvae and plant material at the water’s surface.

Habitat

Banded Killifish are distributed throughout eastern North America, ranging from South Carolina as far north as the Atlantic Provinces. The Newfoundland population of Banded Killifish is found in isolated locations around the island, including the Avalon Peninsula (an introduced population), Burin Peninsula, St. George’s Bay, Bonavista Bay North, Northern Peninsula, Ramea Island and southwestern Newfoundland. Previously, there were 10 documented locations of Banded Killifish on the island. However, recent research and field surveys conducted by DFO have verified 42 locations.

Banded Killifish are typically found in shallow water (<1 m deep), near vegetation, in ponds, lakes and estuaries.

Threats

Banded Killifish have a scattered and limited known distribution on the island of Newfoundland. This makes them susceptible to habitat disturbances (e.g., increased sediment in the water or changes to water flow) which could result from various land use/development activities (e.g., road construction, forestry activities).

Further Information

The Newfoundland population of Banded Killifish is listed as Special Concern under the Species at Risk Act. A Management Plan was published in 2011 for Banded Killifish which provides guidance and mitigation measures to help conserve and protect the species. For more information on Banded Killifish, please see the SARA Registry.

Did You Know?

There are two species of killifish in Newfoundland waters, the Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanous) and the Mummichog (F. heteroclitus). They are very similar in appearance and size and are often found schooling together. Due to these factors, it may be difficult to distinguish between the two species.

banded killifish (<span lang='la'>Fundulus diaphanus</span>)

banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus)

mummichog (<span lang='la'>Fundulus heteroclitus</span>)

mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus)

Banded Killifish (Newfoundland)

Illustration of a Banded killifish. Photo credit: Philip Sargent.

Illustration of a Banded killifish. Photo credit: Philip Sargent.

Scientific name: Fundulus diaphanus
SARA Status: Special Concern
COSEWIC Status: Special Concern
Region: Newfoundland

Map displaying the current (2015) known distribution of the Newfoundland population of Banded Killifish, based on research and field surveys conducted by DFO (from 2013-2015).The map shows the Island of Newfoundland and uses red stars to identify locations where Banded Killifish have been found. Nearby cities and towns have been labeled with a black dot and the name of the city or town in black text. Water is depicted with dark blue coloration, land is pale grey and watersheds are outlined with a dark grey line. A scale for kilometres is centered at the bottom of the map. A key is located in the top right hand corner to show symbols used for the Banded Killifish location and city/town labels.

Map displaying the current (2015) known distribution of the Newfoundland population of Banded Killifish, based on research and field surveys conducted by DFO (from 2013-2015).

Banded killifish

Banded killifish

Related information