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Cyprinodon variegatus  Lacepède, 1803

Sheepshead minnow
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Cyprinodontiformes (Rivulines, killifishes and live bearers) > Cyprinodontidae (Pupfishes) > Cyprinodontinae
Etymology: Cyprinodon: Latin, cyprinus = carp + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335);  variegatus: From the words Cyprinus=a genus of minnows and odious (stem odont)=tooth, meaning minnows with teeth; variegates Latin for variegated, variously colored (Ref. 79012).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; non-migratory.   Subtropical, preferred ?; 45°N - 0°N, 98°W - 49°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North and South America: Massachusetts, USA to northeastern Mexico; and West Indies (Ref. 86798); northern coast of South America (Ref. 5217).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 9.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27139); common length : 3.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

A short, deep-bodied, compressed fish. Scales large, dorsal profile straight from tip of snout to front of dorsal fin; dark marginal band on tail (Ref. 26938).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs usually near vegetation in salt, brackish and fresh water (Ref. 86798). Inhabits hypersaline lagoons and connecting channels. Found on muddy bottoms in turbid waters (Ref. 5217). Omnivorous; consuming organic detritus and algae, as well as microcrustaceans, and dipteran larvae (Ref. 79012). Caught with fine-meshed nets. Very abundant and easily reproduced in captivity. Used as a forage fish in mariculture (Ref. 5217). Not a seasonal killifish. Is easy to maintain in the aquarium (Ref. 27139).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Costa, Wilson J.E.M. | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 2011. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 663p. (Ref. 86798)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Aquarium: commercial; bait: usually
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