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Fragile Legacy


Endangered, Threatened & Rare Animals of South Dakota


Central Mudminnow (Umbra limi)


JPG--species photo species distribution map
Status: State Endangered

Description: The central mudminnow is a small (2-7 inches, 51-178 mm) fish with a dark brown to olive green head and back, mottled sides and a white to yellow colored underside. A prominent narrow vertical bar occurs at the base of the tail.

Habitat and Habits: This species is found in heavily vegetated parts of small creek pools, where the bottom has a thick layer of "muck". A carnivorous bottom feeder, the central mudminnow feeds mainly on small snails, crustaceans and insect larvae. It spawns in May or June, with eggs hatching in about 6 days. Central mudminnows are eaten by pickerel, northern pike and sunfishes, as well as birds, muskrats and foxes. It will bury itself in mud to avoid capture. This fish species is very tolerant of harsh conditions, such as low oxygen levels and high water temperatures.

Distribution: The central mudminnow is found throughout central North America with South Dakota on the western edge of its range. It has been reported in Brookings, Day, Deuel and Roberts Counties in eastern South Dakota.

Conservation Measures: The central mudminnow occurs in habitats that are subject to drainage or alteration, such as densely vegetated streams and creeks.


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