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flathead chub

flathead chub (Platygobio gracilis)
Photo © Konrad P. Schmidt, University of Minnesota

Features and Behaviors

The flathead chub has a wide, flat head with a pointed snout. Its pectoral fins are sickle-shaped. A barbel is present in each corner of the mouth. The dorsal fin origin is above or in front of the pelvic fin origin. The back is light brown or green-brown, and the sides and belly are silver. The lower half of the caudal fin is black. Teeth are present in the throat. Breeding males have small tubercles on the head, body and some fins. Adults range from about three and three-fourths to nearly 10 inches in length.

Flathead chubs swim in schools, often mixed with other minnow species. They eat insects and some plant materials. This species is believed to spawn in summer. It is present in the Mississippi River from near St. Louis to Cairo.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native