Lucania goodei

bluefin killifish






Type Locality

Arlington River (tributary to St. Johns River), at Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida (Jordan 1880:240).


Etymology/Derivation of Scientific Name




Chriopeops (monotypic genus)

Lucania goodei



Maximum size: 50 mm TL (Page and Burr 1991).


Coloration: Conspicuous lateral stripe extending through eye to snout; body not barred (Hubbs et al. 2008).


Counts: 10 or more dorsal fin rays; 30 or fewer longitudinal scale rows (Hubbs et al. 2008).


Body shape: Body depth goes 4.5 to 5 times in standard length; distance from origin of dorsal fin to end of hypural plate more than distance from origin of dorsal fin to preopercle (Hubbs et al. 2008).


External morphology:


Distribution (Native and Introduced)

U.S. distribution: Native to southeastern United States; introduced in California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas (Gallaway et al. 2008; Hubbs et al. 2008).


Texas distribution:


Abundance/Conservation status (Federal, State, NGO)

Currently Stable (Warren et al. 2000) in the southern United States. Usually common to abundant (Gilbert and Burgess 1980).


Habitat Associations



Mesohabitat: Heavily vegetated ponds and streams, in areas of little or no current (Gilbert and Burgess 1980). Frequently associated with spring habitats, and may occur in waters of moderate salinities (up to 10.3 ppt; Kilby 1955; Gilbert and Burgess 1980). Species may occur in waters of extremely low dissolved oxygen content, where it apparently uses small, upturned mouth to obtain oxygen from thin surface film as does Gambusia affinis (Lewis 1970; Gilbert and Burgess 1980).



Spawning season: Late January to mid-September throughout most of range, with reproductive peak from late-March to mid-summer (some populations appear to reproduce throughout year; Gilbert and Burgess 1980).


Spawning habitat: Eggs laid in dense vegetation (Gilbert and Burgess 1980).


Spawning behavior:




Age at maturation




Growth and Population structure: 


Longevity: Not definitely determined, but probably no more than 2 years (Gilbert and Burgess 1980).


Food habits: Mostly epiphytes and sometimes bits of vascular plants (Gilbert and Burgess 1980).


Phylogeny and morphologically similar fishes



Host Records



Commercial or Environmental Importance





Arndt, R.G.E. 1971. Ecology and behavior of the cyprinodont fishes Adinia xenica, Lucania parva, Lucania goodei and Leptolucania ommata. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. 366 pp.


Briggs, J.C. 1958. A list of Florida fishes and their distribution. Bull. Fla. State Mus. Biol. Sci. 2:223-318.


Crawford, S.S., and E.K. Balon. 1994. Alternative life histories of the genus Lucania: 2. Early ontogeny of L. goodei, the bluefin killifish. Environmental Biology of Fishes 41(1-4):331-367.


Gallaway, B.J., R.G. Fechhelm, and R.G. Howells. 2008. Introduction of the bluefin killifish (Lucania goodei) in Texas. Texas Journal of Science 60(1):69-72.

Gilbert, C.R., and G.H. Burgess. 1980. Lucania goodei (Jordan), Bluefin killifish. pp. 534 in D. S. Lee et al., Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. N. C. State Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh, i-r+854 pp.

Hubbs, C., R.J. Edwards, and G.P. Garrett. 2008. An annotated checklist of the freshwater fishes of Texas, with keys to identification of species. Texas Journal of Science, Supplement, 2nd edition 43(4):1-87.

Jordan, D.S. 1880. Description of new species of North American fishes. Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus. [1879] 2:235-241.

Kilby, J.D. 1955. The fishes of two Gulf coastal marsh areas in Florida. Tulane Stud. Zool. 2:175-247.

Lewis, W.M., Jr. 1970. Morphological adaptations of cyprinodontoids for inhabiting oxygen deficient waters. Copeia 1970(2):319-326.


Page, L. M. & B. M. Burr.  1991.  A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.


Warren, M.L., Jr., B.M. Burr, S.J. Walsh, H.L. Bart, Jr., R.C. Cashner, D.A. Etnier, B.J. Freeman, B.R. Kuhajda, R.L. Mayden, H.W. Robison, S.T. Ross, and W.C. Starnes. 2000. Diversity, Distribution, and Conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries 25(10):7-29.