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shoal chub

shoal chub (Macrhybopsis hyostoma) Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The shoal chub may grow to a length of two to two and one-half inches. Its snout extends beyond its mouth. There are tiny black spots on the back and sides. A barbel is located at each corner of the mouth with some populations having two barbels on each side of the mouth. The small eyes are directed upward. The back is green to yellow with silver flecks while the sides and belly are silver. Sometimes the sides have a dark stripe. The breeding male has small projections on the front of his body and some of the fins. The shoal chub has a life span of about one and one-half years.


The shoal chub may be found statewide in Illinois except for the northeastern one-fourth. This fish lives in sand and gravel runs in rivers. The shoal chub lives on or near the bottom. Spawning occurs from late spring through summer with the eggs deposited in deep water at midday. The eggs drift in the current, hatching 25 to 28 hours after fertilization. This fish has taste buds externally and finds food more by taste than sight. The shoal chub eats insects, small crustaceans and plant material.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native