Re: NANFA-- RE: Fundulus similus

Bruce Stallsmith (
Wed, 04 Dec 2002 23:40:39 -0500

I wish I'd seen that, B.G.! You're right in your speculation about F.
similis, they spawn on a full-moon, high-tide cycle. I think I saw a
just-spawned swarm of similis' close cousin, F. majalis, leaving a salt pond
(tidally connected enclosed bay) on Cuttyhunk Island off of Cape Cod as the
high tide went out. I'd never seen that many of them together before or
since, as they poured out of this narrow tidal sluice into Buzzards Bay. But
I didn't get a good look at their coloration as they flowed by...

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>From: "B.G. Granier" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: NANFA-- RE: Fundulus similus
>Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 13:41:24 -0600
>Thanks for your note to the NANFA e-mail list Andy!
>I don't know if I've ever sent this to the NANFA list, but back around 1996
>so, my son and I went fishing in the salt/brackish water near Port
>Louisiana and while we stopped at the boat launch to maybe catch some F.
>grandis (Cocahoe minnows in the local jargon) with my cast net........
>I noticed a congregation of about 100 topminnows all swimming up into the
>shallow, high-tide covered, shell and sand debris. As I watched them
>the typical Fundulus spawning behavior, ie: arched bodies, males embracing
>females and leaving a swirl of sand as they deposited one egg.......I
>that the coloration on the males was something I'd never seen before!
>I thought I'd discovered a new species! After I composed myself and
>my net from our truck, I found that the Fundulus were actually Fundulus
>similus....but with a big difference from the usual coloration that I would
>normally expect!
>The males had a cream-colored body with green highlights on the fins and
>quite spectactular in their spawning coloration! After closer inspection, I
>realized that they were in fact Fundulus similus and not some new
>The time of day and the phase of the moon, ie: high tide at a full moon
>had drawn them up into the extreme shallows to deposit their eggs which
>probably hatch in accordance with the next high tide in coincidence with
>next high tide of the month.........this is strictly speculation and not
>scientific fact you see. But, given that most Fundulus eggs have a 14-17
>incubation period, it makes sense to me. It was about 12 noon which was the
>forecasted time of high-tide, when we observed this frenzied spawning
>This was the first full moon of May, something like May 5th if I remember
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