Mudminnow

Umbra krameri

This small, unobtrusive fish lives in the swamp waters in areas with sedimentation. Long thought to be lost forever, the Mudminnow was rediscovered in the Danube wetlands in 1992.

Description
Body length usually from 9–11cm. Elongated body with dorsal fins set far to the back; rounded tail fin. Upperparts, flanks and head covered with brown spots, longitudinal stripes on the sides.

Distribution
Catchment area of the middle and lower Danube. Requires swampy, stagnant waters with little oxygen, dense vegetation and soft bottom sediments (ponds, irrigation canals and other bodies of water in the wetlands).

Endangerment and Conservation Status
Only recently rediscovered in Austria, the Mudminnow continues to be critically endangered by the destruction of its natural wetlands habitat.

Behaviour
The Mudminnow eat small insects (and their larvae), snails and crustaceans. The female lays her eggs in a prepared nest from February to April; the nest is guarded.

Special Characteristics
Not a fussy species, Umbra krameri were formerly popular aquarium fish. The Mudminnow gets its common German name – "Hundsfisch", or "Dog Fish" – from the way it looks when swimming: the movement of its two large pectoral fins resembles the "dog paddle". A dedicated Donau-Auen National Park project aims to promote and breed this species in order to guarantee its survival.