Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) and Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) distributions in insular Newfoundland waters: implications for a Species at Risk
Keywords:Banded Killifish, distribution range, Fundulus, identification, Mummichog, Newfoundland, range extension, species at risk
Newfoundland’s Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) population is listed as a species of Special Concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act and Vulnerable under Newfoundland and Labrador’s Endangered Species Act. Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) is a similar looking fish species and is currently under review by Newfoundland and Labrador’s Species Status Advisory Committee. Both species have limited known distributions in Newfoundland waters that overlap. They may occur sympatrically in estuaries and occasionally hybridize; thus, field identifications can be challenging. We found that dorsal fin position and caudal fin depth were the most useful morphological characters for distinguishing Banded Killifish and Mummichog in the field. We used local ecological knowledge, literature review, museum records, and field surveys to update the known distribution ranges and found both species in more locations than previously documented in Newfoundland. Thus, we extend their known ranges. Our results will be critical in future status assessments of these species in Newfoundland.
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