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cypress minnow

cypress minnow (Hybognathus hayi) [state endangered] Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors

The scales on the back and upper body are outlined with dark coloration. The dorsal fin is pointed at the tip. The body is compressed laterally and is tallest at the forward edge of the dorsal fin. The upper body is light- to dark-olive with a yellow-green stripe on the back that Is wider than the dorsal fin. The sides are silver, and the belly is white. The breeding male has tubercles on the front of the body, including the head, and all fins except the caudal fin. There are no markings in the fins. An adult cypress minnow is about three to five inches long.

This species is found in the southern tip of the state in swamps, oxbows and streams with little or no current. It eats dead and live plant materials. Its endangered status is mainly due to loss of the wetland habitats where it lives.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: state endangered, native