The Barrens Topminnow is restricted to the headwaters of three systems in the Tennessee and Cumberland river drainages in central Tennessee. They are found near the surface in springs and spring-fed creeks with aquatic vegetation. This species has declined range-wide due to the invasive Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, and groundwater withdrawal. Breeding males develop bright green coloration with red-orange spots. As with all topminnows, they live at the top of the water column.