About This Animal
SIZE: To 3.75 inches
RANGE: The Upper Duck, Elk, and Caney Fork River systems in south-central Tennessee
HABITAT: Springs and small spring-influenced streams
DIET: Opportunistically feeding on insects, crustaceans, snails and slugs
LIFESPAN: 3 - 4 years
ON EXHIBIT: Tennessee River Gallery in River Journey
About this animal: Topminnows get their name by living near the surface of the spring or stream. Barrens Topminnows can be identified by a whitish gold exclamation mark on their back. Male Barren Topminnows are very colorful during the peak breeding season from late May to June, with red-orange spots on iridescent greenish-blue sides.
Threats: The introduction of the Western Mosquitofish, which eats very young Barrens Topminnows.
Our Impact: The Tennessee Aquarium monitors the Barrens Topminnow population and has worked with partners to release more than 44,000 Barrens topminnows into their natural habitat.
Conservation Status: Endangered in Tennessee and currently under review for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). If approved, the fish would be protected under the Endangered Species Act.