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pallid shiner

pallid shiner (Hybopsis amnis) [state endangered] Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors

The pallid shiner averages about three and one-fourth inches in length. Its eyes are oriented upward and are horizontally elliptical. Each eye is about the same length as the snout. The snout sticks out well beyond the mouth, which is small and faces downward. The; back arches up at the front edge of the dorsal fin. The upper body is yellow or yellow-green, and the scales on the upper body have dark edges. The sides are silver, and there is a dark stripe along the side and around the snout. The stripe may not be present in water that is not clear. Sometimes there is a dark spot at the base of the caudal fin. The front edge of the dorsal fin is directly over or a little in front of the front edge of the pelvic fin. The breeding male has small projections on the lower half of the head, front of the body and on the pectoral fin rays. The lateral line is complete. Teeth are present in the throat.

The pallid shiner lives in rivers. It is found at or close to the bottom. This species is not tolerant of siltation or turbidity and avoids strong currents. Very little is known about its life history. Its population has steadily declined in the northern part of its range in the United States since the arrival of European settlers.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: state endangered, native