Umbra pygmaea DeKay (Eastern Mudminnow) is one of four species of Umbridae in North America. There is little published life-history information on the species within its native range, particularly on age, growth, and reproduction. This study focuses on these aspects of the life history of this fish at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris County, NJ. A total of 336 fish of seven species was collected from June 1978 through May 1979, with the Eastern Mudminnow comprising 74% of the total. The average annual growth increment in total length for the Eastern Mudminnow was 15.3 2.06 mm, with age-1 fish averaging 40 mm total length and age-5 fish, the oldest collected, averaging 107 mm total length. The length-weight relationship was log10W = -5.291 + 3.182 log10TL mm for males and log10W = -4.999 + 3.032 log10TL mm for females. We observed no statistically significant sexually dimorphic differences in length-weight relationships in this population. The ratio of females to males increased from a low of 0.6 (predominance of male fish) at age-1 to a high of 4.6 (predominance of females) at age-5. Annual mortality for age 2–5 fish ranged from 40–76% with a mean of 59 13%. Age-specific fecundity estimates ranged from 250 eggs/female at age-1 to 2168 eggs/female at age-5. The relationship of number of mature ova to age was best described by the exponential function y = 149.29e0.5287x, where y = age-specific fecundity and x = age in years. Ova ranged from 0.1–0.2 mm in diameter in June and July and averaged 1.41 0.1 mm (range = 1.29–1.62 mm) in early February prior to spawning. Peak spawning occurred in mid-April at temperatures of 9–12 °C, and all females were spent by late April (13–15 °C).
Additional publication details
Age, Growth and Reproduction of the Eastern Mudminnow (Umbra pygmaea) at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey.