Shiner – Introduction and Notropis Genus

Introduction and Notropis

The Shiner is a common name used to define several North American small fish together. While, a common trait is that most of the fish in the species are silver they may differ. There is various genus of shiners. These minnows include.

Eastern Shiners – Genus Notropis
Finescale Shiners – Genus Lythrurus
Flagfin Shiners – Genus Pteronotropis
Golden Shiner – Genus Notemigonus crysoleucas
Highscale Shiners – Genus Luxilus
Redside Shiners – Genus Richardsonius
Satinfin Shiners – Genus Cyprinella

However, the list is large and thus, we will cover these in various separate articles. Therefore, let us begin with the Notropis or Eastern Shiners. Notropis is a genus of freshwater fish in the Cyprinidae family. The continents second largest genus.

Generally, members of the genus have eight dorsal rays and no barbels, except the Redeye Chub. While, the scales are not much taller than they are wide, but not diamond shaped. Further, the species has short intestines with one loop at the front.

Currently 88 recognized species exist in the genus. Several articles will follow with a break down of these. However, in this article let us look at.

Soto la Marina

Soto la Marina

Palezone Shiner

Palezone

Whitemouth Shiner

Whitemouth

Highfin

Highfin

Texas Shiner

Texas Shiner

Ameca

Ameca

Orangefin Shiner

Orangefin

Comely

Comely

Pugnose Shiner

Pugnose

Popeye Shiner

Popeye

Burrhead

Burrhead

Emerald Shiner

Emerald

Blackspot Shiner

Blackspot

Durango

Rough Shiner

Rough

Red River

Red River

Bridle Shiner

Bridle

River Shiner

River

Soto la Marina Shiner

Soto la Marina

The Soto la Marina Shiner (Notropis aguirrepequenoi) is a species of freshwater fish in the Cyprinidae family of carps and minnows. Further, belonging to the Notropis species of Shiners. A small silver fish with a black lateral line and a black keel.

Native to Mexico and generally occurs in the lower Rio Grande river. While, this species is extremely vulnerable. Inhabit pools and riffles of clear streams with moderate to rapid water movement. Generally, prefer sand, gravel or rocky substrates.

Occurs on the northern Atlantic slope drainage in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon in Mexico. While, they have an extremely small range their numbers continue to decline due to the area, extent and quality of habitat. Especially due to habitat degradation, destruction, modification and reduction in range.  Tourism, mining and forestry activities impact the population sizes in the upper portion of the Soto la Marina River.

While, the San Fernando River has not been altered extensively in Tamaulipas, the damming of the two upstream areas in Nuevo Leon has impacted the flow regime of the river. Meanwhile, the lower Soto la Marina is subject to severe pollution due to agricultural runoff and human development. Therefore, placing stress on the populations in this region impacting the fish negatively. Currently there are laws and regulations to protect the Soto la Marina Shiner.

Palezone Shiner

The Palezone Shiner (Notropis albizonatus) is a rare ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to certain areas of the United States including Alabama and Kentucky. However, occurred in Tennessee but now  extirpated.

Generally, has a slender and cylindrical straw-colored body with dark margins on some the rear scales. Further, has a dark, silvery lateral stripe with a spot near the tail. While, a pale stripe runs above the dark lateral line. Therefore, giving the fish their name.

Generally, lives in flowing streams with clear water and sandy or rocky substrates. While, spawning occurs in late spring and summer. Most jeopardized fish in the United States and federally listed as an endangered species.

Moreover, degraded conditions have limited their habitat range. While, coal mining pollution and reservoir construction in Tennessee has led to their extirpation there.

Palezone Shiner

Whitemouth Shiner

Whitemouth Shiner

The Whitemouth Shiner (Notropis alborus) is a freshwater fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the eastern United States occurring in the Piedmont states of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Inhabits sandy and rocky pools and runs of headwaters, creeks and small rivers. While, having a slender and cylindrical straw-colored body with dark margins on some of the rear scales and a dark lateral line running the length of their bodies, from snout to tail. Generally, reach lengths of up to 2.5 inches.

Highfin Shiner

The Highfin Shiner (Notropis altipinnis) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family, part of the Notropis genus. Native to the United States and found in the lower Roanoke River drainage from Virginia, south in Piedmont and the Coastal Plain areas to the Savannah River drainage in South Carolina.

A tiny, nondescript silvery fish with a black lateral stripe extending from less than halfway onto the caudal fin and over the eye around the nostril. While, the lateral stripe does not extend below the lowest part of the lateral line and is bordered by a light stripe.

Meanwhile, the scale on their backs are outlined in black. While, they have oblique mouths with a U-shaped smudge of pigment between the nostrils. Further, have little to no pigment present along the anal fin base. Generally, reach lengths of up to 2.5 inches.

Inhabit pools and runs of sandy and rocky creeks and even small to medium sized rivers. Stable and secure populations of the Highfin Shiner exist. Therefore, little to no conservation concerns afforded.

However, the Shiner faces many challenges including loss of habitat due to removal of riparian cover along streams, land development, siltation and hydrologic alterations such as channelization and construction of impoundments.

Highfin

Texas Shiner

Texas Shiner

The Texas Shiner (Notropis amabilis) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the United States from Texas to Mexico. Generally, have a deep, compressed body with a moderately pointed snout and a terminal and oblique mouth.

While, featuring a complete lateral line with large eyes, black lips and a clear stripe just above a black stripe along their sides. Meanwhile, the stripe is most distinct close to the tail. While, the dorsal fin is triangular.

Inhabit springs and headwater tributaries, flowing pools and deep river but avoid shallow high-velocity riffles and lentic backwater areas. While, being abundant in deep pools and silt substrates in fall and deeper pools and runs in fall and winter. Generally, prefer clear water with sand, gravel or rubble substrates.

Invertivore drift predators feeding primarily in the water column on aquatic insects. While, some popular food sources include aquatic insects, algae, mayflies, caddisflies, flies, midges, beetles, moths, butterflies and terrestrial insects. Generally, feed near the surface. Spawn in early spring into summer, from February through September.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Texas Shiner.

Ameca Shiner

The Ameca Shiner (Notropis amecae) is a freshwater species of cyprinid fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the upper parts of the Ameca River drainage in Jalisco, Mexico. However, possibly extinct since 1969. However, a small population was rediscovered in 2001.

A silvery slender fish with a dark lateral line extending from the back of the eye to the tip of the tail. Moreover, reach lengths of 2 inches. Generally, the anal fin has 7 – 8 soft rays. While, the incomplete lateral line has 11 – 34 pored scales which extend vertically from insertion of the pelvic fins.

Meanwhile, the head canal is often interrupted by the supraorbital canal. While, their closest relative is the Yellow Shiner and Durango Shiner.

Ameca

Orangefin

Orangefin Shiner

The Orangefin Shiner (Notropis ammophilus) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the United States where it is widely distributed in the Mobile Basin below the Fall Line in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi.

While, disjunct populations occur in the Yellow Creek system of the Tennessee River, Hatchie River System, Skuna River and Yazoo drainage.

Generally, a small slender silvery fish with orange fins and an orange snout. Reaching lengths of 2.5 inches. Inhabits shallow sandy runs and pools of creeks and small to medium sized rivers. Generally, feeding on midge larvae.

Comely Shiner

The Comely Shiner (Notropis amoenus) is a freshwater species of ray-finned fish belonging to the Cyprinidae family. Native to North America. While, a silvery minnow they are often identified by their dorsal and ventral fins which are of equal curvature.

Meanwhile, their bodies are slender and compressed with a posterior-sided stripe. Meanwhile, their scales are crowded from their anterior fin to the pelvic fin.

Comely

Generally, the body is light olive in color with a narrow dusky stripe along the back and a silver stripe with emerald sheen along the side. While, having a large, terminal oblique mouth with a fairly pointed snout and a small eye, similar to the Emerald Shiner. Furthermore, the fish reaches up to 3.5 inches in length.

While, inhabiting streams, pools and backwaters of swift streams. As well as, many other bodies of water provided water depth is 2 feet or more. Meanwhile, they range from the Hudson River in New York to the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. As well as, New Jersey where is occur in the northern and western portions of the state.

While, spawning occurs in spring and summer. Furthermore, invertivores consuming small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. Intolerant of environmental degradation and siltation. Therefore, threatened by urbanization and habitat loss. However, no current conservation efforts are in place.

Pugnose

Pugnose Shiner

The Pugnose Shiner (Notropis anogenus) is a species of ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to North America where their historic range was from eastern Ontario and Western New York to North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, ending in the St Lawrence River drainage.

While, having a dark lateral stripe on the side of the body that runs from the tip of the caudal fin through the eye to the nose tip and a small, terminal mouth that angles upwards giving the impression of a pug-nose. While, the abdominal region is yellow, and the tail fin is clear. Generally, reach 2 inches in length.

 

Inhabit weedy, clear lakes and slow-moving streams throughout their temperate, freshwater range. While, sensitive to environmental conditions and intolerant of turbidity. Therefore, a great indicator of healthy ecosystems. Meanwhile, diets consist of filamentous algae and Cladocera, eggs, insects, worms and anything under 2mm in size.

Generally, an oviparous species with spawning and fertilization occurring in summer between May and July. Preyed upon by any omnivorous fish including bass, trout and catfish.

Found in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Ontario. However, there has been quite a bit of change in the past few years. Further, Canada’s populations are endangered with the United States having varied status. However, due to turbidity, decreasing vegetation and invasive species taking over their habitats, their numbers are decreasing.

Furthermore, their distribution is decreasing due to the removal of aquatic plants to create swimming beaches and boating access in freshwater lakes. While, extirpated in North Dakota due to tributaries and uprooted vegetation within the freshwater lakes and streams.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Pugnose Shiner.

Popeye

The Popeye Shiner (Notropis ariommus) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to North America including the Ohio River Basin and Tennessee River Drainage and their range includes Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Inhabit benthopelagic regions of large creeks and small rivers with slow to moderately flowing clear water and gravel substrates. Freshwater insectivores consuming aquatic insects including midges, caddisflies, mayflies and beetles. Generally, spawn in spring or summer.

Intolerant of poor water conditions, therefore, industrialization may lead to sedimentation and siltation due to runoff of agricultural practices. Therefore, resulting in the decrease of populations due to habitat destruction and pollution.

Listed as endangered in Georgia and Ohio. While, extirpated in Indiana due to habitat loss and industrialization such as logging, damming and strip mining. As well as, introduction of invasive species such as Asian Carp especially the Grass Carp, Bighead Carp and Silver Carp.

However, little is being done to manage the threat imposed on the Popeye Shiner. Meanwhile, Ohio has a program that strives to protect and restore stream habitats.

Popeye Shiner

Burrhead Shiner

Burrhead

The Burrhead Shiner (Notropis asperifrons) is a ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the United States occurring in the Black Warrior River system in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.

Has an elongated and rounded body with a somewhat triangular head with a blunt snout and an inferior, horizontal mouth. Further, has a dark, narrow lateral band extending from the caudal fin encircling the snout. While, resembling the Coosa Shiner (Notropis xaenocephalus).

Generally, reaching 3 inches in length. Inhabits rocky and sandy pools and runs of clear creeks and small rivers. Generally, spawn from April to June. As the name suggests, the breeding male has many small white tubercles, horny projections on the top of their heads.

Emerald

The Emerald Shiner (Notropis atherinoides) is a ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to North America from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Further, occur in Virginia, Texas and Alabama.

A small, slender, laterally flattened fish with a compressed body. Generally, reaching lengths of 3.5 inches. Meanwhile, a bright, iridescent, silvery green fish with a silver mid-lateral band. While, the back and upper sides are emerald green to straw colored the ventral side is silvery white.

While, the mouth is large and has a terminal and oblique positioning with no barbels. Further, have hooked pharyngeal teeth. While, having a short and blunt snout with the upper lip being separated from the skin of the snout by a deep groove that forms a continuous line across the midline.

Generally, benthopelagic living in large open rivers, lakes and reservoirs. As well as, medium sized habitats and smaller bodies of water. Moreover, commonly seen in clear water over sand or gravel substrates.

Planktivores feeding predominantly on zooplankton, protozoans and diatoms. Furthermore, diets may farther consist of algae and plants, especially during spring.

Oviparous fish that spawns from late spring to late summer, ranging from May to August. This species is of little concern and do not required additional protection or major management monitoring.

However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Emerald Shiner.

Emerald Shiner

Blackspot

Blackspot Shiner

The Blackspot Shiner (Notropis atrocaudalis) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the United States and found in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Generally, grows to 3 inches in length. Generally, the body is thick and rounded. Have a thin and distinct dark mid-lateral stripe extending from the snout to the rectangular caudal fin.

While, dark pigments outline the mid-lateral stripe. Further, the mouth is subterminal and slightly oblique. Inhabit small to moderately sized tributary streams over all types of substrates.

Generally, avoiding backwaters and swift currents. However, may occur in small seepage-fed hill streams with sandy or muddy substrates.

Spawning occurs from April through June. While, primarily invertivores feeding on aquatic insects. However, found in the Brazos River drainage, Calcasieu River drainage and Red River drainage systems.

Durango

The Durango Shiner (Notropis aulidion) is a freshwater ray-finned species of fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to Mexico occurring in the Rio Tunal, San Pedro Mezquital River and Pacific slope river rising near Durango City. Generally, occur where there is minimal vegetation over muddy substrates with low velocity flow at a water depth of approximately a meter.

Further, related to the Yellow Shiner and Ameca Shiner. However, the species maybe extinct. Most likely as a result of reduced streamflow, municipal and industrial pollution and the effects of the introduction of non-native species such as Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides).

Rough Shiner

Rough Shiner

The Rough Shiner (Notropis baileyi) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the United States and occurs in the upper Coastal Plain and Piedmont areas of the Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

Found in the Leaf and Chickasawhay Rivers, Pascagoula River drainage, Mobile Bay Drainage, Tallapoosa River system, Tennessee River Drainage and Bear Creek system. As well as, Escambia, Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding, Mulberry and Apalachicola Basins.

A deep, stocky fish with a compressed body and terminal, oblique mouth. Further, has a black with yellow cast lateral band. While, the section above the lateral band is reddish brown that below the lateral line has a yellow tint grading towards a silvery white venter.

Meanwhile, all the fins are yellow with some populations displaying various colors of red and yellow. Generally, the Rough reaches lengths of up to 3 inches. Furthermore, their habitats include small to large flowing streams with sand and gravel substrates.

Generally, spawn from May to late September. While, their diets consist of terrestrial and aquatic insects and plant materials.

Red River Shiner

The Red River Shiner (Notropis bairdi) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the United States, especially in the Red River in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Generally, pale in color. However, appear grey on the dorsal surface due to the pigment outlining the dorsolateral scales. While, the lower half tends to be silvery.

Meanwhile, has a terminal and oblique mouth with a short snout and a small eye. Generally, found in turbid waters of broad, shallow channels of streams, deeper pools and shallow backwaters, over silt or sandy substrates.

Tolerant of high salinities and therefore able to thrive. Spawn in summer. Generally, feed on terrestrial insects and invertebrates.

However, related to the Smalleye Shiner (Notropis buccula) and the Arkansas River Shiner (Notropis girardi). While, stable and secure populations of Red River Shiner exist. Therefore,  little to no conservation exists.

Red River

Bridle Shiner

Bridle Shiner

The Brindle Shiner (Notropis bifrenatus) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to North America from Lake Ontario to Maine and south to South Carolina. Generally, found in the lowland areas of Lake Ontario drainage and Saint Lawrence River.

Have a small, slender body which is lateral compressed with a snout length which is smaller than the eye diameter. Generally, a straw-colored fish with a silvery dorsal side and green-blue iridescent tint. Meanwhile, the ventral side is silvery white.

Further, has a small, angular and terminal mouth. While, large scales form an incomplete black lateral line from tail to snout. Meanwhile, breeding males develop minute nuptial tubercles on the head, nape and pectoral fins. Inhabit quiet areas of streams and lakes with abundant submerged aquatic vegetation and silt substrates.

However, prefer clear waters but do occur in moderately turbid waters. Generally, feed on zooplankton, aquatic insect larvae such as chironomids and plant material. Preyed on by larger fish including the Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass and Yellow Perch.

Furthermore, the species is vulnerable to poor water quality and high turbidity, particularly in agricultural areas. Therefore, have benefited in areas where zebra mussels have invaded and improved water clarity.

Meanwhile, the densely growing invasive species such as the Eurasian watermilfoil hinders spawning areas and causes a decline in the species. Closely related to the Sand Shiner (Notropis stramineus), Mimic Shiner (Notropis volucellus), Pugnose Shiner (Notropis anogenus), Blackchin Shiner (Notropis heterodon) and Blacknose Shiner (Notropis heterolepis).

River Shiner

The River Shiner (Notropis blennius) is a freshwater ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. Native to the United States from Hudson Bay Basin in Alberta to Manitoba south through the Red River in Minnesota and North Dakota.

As well as, the Mississippi River Basin from Wisconsin and Minnesota to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Colorado and east to West Virginia.

River Shiners have moderately deep, slightly compressed bodies with silver sides and dark backs with a distinct stripe down the center of their backs. The stripe encircles the base of the dorsal fin.

While, all other fins are transparent with no distinct markings. Generally, have a large terminal mouth with small eyes. While, reaching lengths of 3 – 4 inches long.

Inhabit large rivers over sand and gravel substrates. Generally, spawn in late July and August over sand and gravel. Meanwhile, their diets consist of various aquatic invertebrates and terrestrial insects.

River Shiner

Conclusion

This is only the first of several articles to come. Therefore, please follow us for other articles relating to Shiners.

Complete list of Notropis species of Shiners

Notropis Genus Part 2
*Bigeye *Balsas *Tamaulipas *Smalleye *Ghost *Cahaba *Calabazas *Yellow *Silverside *Ironcolor *Chihuahua

Notropis Genus Part 3
*Redlip *Greenhead *Rainbow *Atoyac Chub *Dusky *Bigmouth *Fluvial *Arkansas River *Zacapu *Wedgespot

Notropis Genus Part 4
*Redeye Chub *Blackchin *Blacknose *Spottail *Highscale *Rio Grande *Tennessee *Longnose *Yellowfin *Taillight

Notropis Genus Part 5
*Maravatio *West Texas *Cape Fear *Blackmouth *Highland *Papaloapan Chub *Nazas *Ozark Minnow *Phantom *Kiamichi

Notropis Genus Part 6
*Sharpnose *Ozark *Carmine *Peppered *Coastal *Silver *Chub *Swallowtail *Yazoo *Rosyface

Notropis Genus Part 7
*Saffron *Bedrock *Sabine *Salado *New River *Sandbar *Roughhead *Silverband *Bluntnose *Mirror

Notropis Genus Part 8
*Sand *Rocky *Telescope *Weed *Topeka *Pygmy *Skygazer *Mimic *Channel *Coosa *Pallid

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