Fundulus is a genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of ray-finned fishes in the superfamily
The term superfamily is used to describe several different concepts in different scientific fields:* Superfamily and Superfamily : a level of biological classification; redirects to Taxonomic rank...

 Funduloidea, family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

Fundulidae is the family of topminnows and North American killifishes. The 46 species are native to North America as far south as Yucatan, and to the islands of Bermuda and Cuba, occurring in both freshwater and marine environments....

 (of which it is the type genus
Type genus
In biological classification, a type genus is a representative genus, as with regard to a biological family. The term and concept is used much more often and much more formally in zoology than it is in botany, and the definition is dependent on the nomenclatural Code that applies:* In zoological...

). They belong to the order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 of toothcarps (Cyprinodontiformes), and therein the large suborder Cyprinodontoidei. Most of their closest living relatives are egg-lying, with the notable exception of the splitfin livebearers (Goodeidae
Splitfins, are a family, Goodeidae, of teleost fish endemic to Mexico and some areas of the United States. This family contains 40 species within 18 genera. The family is named after ichthyologist George Brown Goode.-Range and Geographic Distribution:...


They are usually smallish, most species reaching a length of at most 4 in (10 cm) when fully adult. However, a few larger species exist, with the Giant Killifish (F. grandissimus) and the Northern Studfish (F. catenatus
Fundulus catenatus
The common name of Fundulus catenatus is the northern studfish. It is one of the 324 fish species found in Tennessee....

) growing to twice the genus' average size.

Many of the 40-odd species are commonly known by the highly ambiguous name "killifish
A killifish is any of various oviparous cyprinodontiform fish . Altogether, there are some 1270 different species of killifish, the biggest family being Rivulidae, containing more than 320 species...

(the general term for egg-laying toothcarps), or the somewhat less ambiguous "topminnow" (a catch-all term for Fundulidae). Studfish is a quite unequivocal vernacular name applied to some other Fundulus; it is not usually used to refer to the genus as a whole however.


As of early 2011, FishBase
FishBase is a comprehensive database of information about fish species . It is the largest and most extensively accessed online database on adult finfish on the web...

 lists 40 species, one of which went extinct in recent times; on average, 1-2 new species are being discovered and described every decade:
Formerly placed in Fundulus were the closely related Diamond Killifish (Adinia xenica) and the somewhat more distantly related Cuban Killifish (Cubanichthys cubensis, a pupfish
Pupfish are a group of small killifish belonging to ten genera of the family Cyprinodontidae of ray-finned fish. All pupfish are especially noted for being found in extreme and isolated situations, in various parts of North America, South America, and the Caribbean region...

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