(Fundulus heteroclitus)

A picture of a mummichog
A mummichog.

The mummichog has long been a favorite fish species for the seventh grade seine surveys.  This small fish is a member of the killifish family, a group of fish that live in the shallow water environments at the edges of rivers, marshes and bays. Mummichogs are variable by their sex and by the season.  Males of this species during the breeding season (late spring through mid-summer) possess yellow fins on the underside of the body and on the end of the tail.  The male also has bright blue banding that runs vertically along the body.  At other times of the year the colrs fade somewhat, although the banding is still recognizable.  Females of the species tend to be a bit larger and are an overall olive-green color.  Mummichogs are chubby little fish with a rounded nose and stout body.  Other members of the killifish family tend to be slimmer and have a more pointed nose.

Mummichogs will feed near the surface of the water on small larval insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates.  The fish are often seen flopping on the edge of the marsh at low tide when they’ve become stranded as the water in the creek has receded.  Here they become food for a variety of predators such as herons, water snakes and turtles.

A graph showing the amount of mummichog caught from 1997-2015
A graph showing the amount of mummichog caught from 1997-2015