Bermuda Killifish (Fundulus bermudae) & Lover's Lake Killifish (Fundulus relictus)

 Bermuda Killifish

Bermuda Killifish

 Lover's Lake Killifish

Lover's Lake Killifish

Female killifish are olive coloured and sometimes have dark vertical bars running down their bodies.  Males are smaller than females, more brightly coloured, and have a dark eyespot on their dorsal fin during the breeding season.  Most killifish average 6 cm in length (about the size of your first finger), although some have been found nearly 13 cm.

Killifish are euryhaline, meaning they can live in either fresh or saltwater, and are only found in a limited number of ponds scattered across the Bermuda. They are omnivorous, feeding on small invertebrates, such as shrimp and insects, as well as plant material and pond sediment. Female killifish lay their eggs one at a time over a period of several days in the summer. The fry (baby killifish) hatch after a few weeks and can grow up to live for many years.

There is concern that some of our killifish may be disappearing. Loss of suitable habitat, predation, competition pressures and pollution are all threats to Bermuda’s killifish.

These are Bermuda Killifish in a school hanging around the roots of a Red Mangrove on the edge of a pond in the Walsingham Reserve. If the diver got too close they would run for shelter under the trees. Notice the eyespots on the dorsal fins of the males.

Learn More About Killifish:

Related Research:

  • Outerbridge, Mark E.; Davenport, John & Glasspool, Anne F. (2007) Distribution, population assessment and conservation of the endemic Bermuda killifishes Fundulus bermudae and Fundulus relictus, Endangered Species Research, 3: 181-189.