NANFA-- Awesome Topminnows

Mark (
Tue, 16 Dec 2003 23:27:09 -0500

Ahh, reading Jeff's emails reminded me of my first encounter with
Fundulus notatus -- in Bokes Creek on my grandparent's property in
Union County Ohio. I had kept the tropical livebearers as some of my
first childhood aquarium fishes and knew about their distinctive
characteristics from the little fish guides I had then. That first
little topminnow (and it was tiny, since the big adults were way too
quick to snag with my butterfly net) really got me fired up! I
thought I had found a "mosquitofish", as my fish guide had named
Heterandria formosa. Took me the longest time to learn that a
mosquitofish was Gambusia. Anyway, I spent the next hour
concentrating with all my might to snag one more, then one more of
the tiny notatus from Grandma's creek. Wow, that was livin'.
Chasing the elusive "rare" fish in the wild. Still gets me all
focused and laser beamed. I made it home with a nice batch of tiny
killies, and was mystified as to their identity. I apparently had
not caught any males or this was some rare beast that was not in my
books. And that was even more exciting. In fact, I probably didn't
get that one answered until 30 years later when I got some decent
books and found out what was out there in my own backyard. Ahh...

I too appreciate the starheads. But I am partial to Fundulus dispar,
especially that race from Lake Gentian in Angola Indiana. A true
beauty. And another story from my boyhood...


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