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river shiner

river shiner (Notropis blennius) Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The river shiner averages about two to three and one-half inches in length. Its mouth extends to beneath the front of its eye. The yellow back has a dark stripe in the middle and scales outlined in black. The silver sides may have a dark stripe on the back half. The belly is silver-white. A breeding male has small projections (tubercles) on its pectoral fins.


The river shiner may be found in the Mississippi, Rock, Illinois, Ohio and Wabash rivers in Illinois. It lives over sand and gravel areas in these rivers where the current is not strong. The river shiner schools in midwater in association with other minnows. Spawning occurs from spring through summer. This fish eats insects.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native