These attractive topminnows swim near the surface of the water feeding on tiny insects such as mosquito larvae. They spawn by attaching their eggs onto aquatic vegetation. The aquarium mimics these spawning grounds by adding yarn mops for the fish to hide and spawn in. These can be seen in the Tiny but Mighty Important alcove in the Tennessee River gallery of the River Journey building. The Barrens topminnow teeters on the brink of extinction. Due to declining numbers and loss of critical habitat the species was officially classified as Endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in November of 2019. The Tennessee Aquarium is involved in a captive breeding and reintroduction project to help save this species.
Found only on the Barrens Plateau of middle Tennessee
Springs, pools and slow current areas of spring-fed streams
Aquatic insects and freshwater plankton
More on the Barrens Topminnow
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