Banded Killifish
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Side view: The sides show dark vertical bars; dorsal origin is equal to or ahead of anal origin; the pelvic fins are ahead of dorsal origin.
  • Side view: The sides show dark vertical bars (faint), dorsal origin is equal to or ahead of anal origin; the pelvic fins are ahead of dorsal origin.
  • The mouth is superior and lacks a bar/blotch below the eye, there is a groove between the upper snout and lip.
  • Close-up mouth/snout: There is a continuous groove between the upper lip and the snout.
  • Alternative view of dorsal fin: Notice the bands near the base of the fin.
  • Alternative side view.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Killifishes and topminnows (Fundulidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: The banded killifish has a superior mouth with small teeth in jaws. There are no barbels. Body pattern: The body shows diffuse dark olive vertical bars (often faint) on light olive or silvery flanks. The belly is cream or white. The fins are lightly pigmented or clear. There is no lateral line; scales are cycloid, 39-43 lateral scales. Body shape and size: The body is fusiform, somewhat elongate and round in cross section. It is typically 35-60 mm (1.5-2.5 in) TL; maximum in Wisconsin about 75 mm (3 in).
Fins
The tail is rounded. There is a single dorsal fin without spines and 10-13 rays. The pelvic fins are abdominal. The adipose fin is absent. The anal fin has 9-11 rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The banded killifish can be distinguished by its lack of dark mottling and thick vertical bars, its superior mouth with a continuous groove between the snout and upper lip, and the positioning of the pelvic fin such that all or most of the fin is in advance of the origin of the dorsal fin. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Breeding adults are similar to non-breeders.
Juveniles
Juveniles are similar to adults.
Hybrids
None
Compare Similar Species
Lateral Scales
Killifish, Banded39-43
Mosquitofish, Western29-32
Mudminnow, Central34-37
Topminnow, Blackstripe31-36
Topminnow, Starhead30-34
Dorsal Fin Origin
Killifish, BandedAhead of anal origin
Mosquitofish, WesternBehind anal origin
Mudminnow, CentralAhead of anal origin
Topminnow, BlackstripeBehind anal origin
Topminnow, StarheadBehind anal origin
Color and Pigment Pattern
Killifish, BandedSilvery with irregular dark vertical bars (often faint) on flanks; no dark bar or blotch below eye
Mosquitofish, WesternSolid tan or olive, sometimes with fine spots, especially dorsally; dark bar or blotch below eye
Mudminnow, CentralDark olive green to brown black, mottled with up to 14 distinct to vague dark brown vertical bars; belly yellow to white; dark bar or blotch below eye
Topminnow, BlackstripeOlive with thick dark lateral stripe, sometimes with finer incomplete vertical bars giving stripe a zig-zag appearance; no dark bar or blotch below eye
Topminnow, StarheadOlive or silvery with either fine dark vertical bars or lateral stripes (consisting of rows of fine spots); dark bar or blotch below eye
Similarity Index
Killifish, BandedN/A
Mosquitofish, WesternVery similar
Mudminnow, CentralModerately similar
Topminnow, BlackstripeVery similar
Topminnow, StarheadVery similar
Comments
Mosquitofish, WesternNot established in WI, but stocked in the past and known from Illinois north of Chicago
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