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bigeye chub

bigeye chub (Hybopsis amblops) [state threatened] Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors

The large, elliptical eye is a characteristic of this species. The eye diameter is slightly larger than the length of the snout. The slender, silvery body has a small, horizontal mouth. There is a small, conical barbel on each corner of the mouth. The snout sticks out further than the upper lip. The anal fin has eight rays. Teeth are present in the throat. The back and upper sides are green-yellow with some dark edges on the scales. The lower sides and belly are silver-white. The middle of each side has a dark stripe except in those individuals where there is great turbidity in the water. The stripe may have yellow coloration above it and may extend onto the snout. There may be a black spot at the base of the tail. The breeding male has small tubercles on the top of the head. An adult bigeye chub is typically two and one-half to three inches long. The dorsal fin origin is equal to or slightly behind the pelvic fin origin.

The bigeye chub lives in clear, permanent streams that are free of silt. It can usually be found near riffles and plants in the water. Spawning occurs in late spring and early summer. This species feeds on small aquatic insects.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia​
Phylum: Chordata​
Class: Actinopterygii​
Order: Cypriniformes​
Family: Leuciscidae

Illinois Status: state threatened, native