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Mississippi silvery minnow

Mississippi silvery minnow (Hybognathus nuchalis) Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The Mississippi silvery minnow grows to an average length of three to five inches. Its stout body is brown to yellow-green on the back and has a wide yellow-green stripe. The sides are silver, and the belly is silver-white. The dorsal fin is pointed. The breeding male has bumps on the front of its body and most of its fins.


The Mississippi silvery minnow may be found statewide in Illinois. This small fish lives in creeks and rivers. The Mississippi silvery minnow swims in schools near the bottom along with several other minnow species. It spawns in spring with the eggs deposited over the bottom.  This fish eats algae and dead organic matter that it finds on the bottom.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native