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silverjaw minnow

​silverjaw minnow (Ericymba buccata) Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The silverjaw minnow grows to a length of about three inches. It has white chambers that are visible in its cheeks. The bottom of its head is flat, and its eyes point upward. The back is brown or yellow-olive with a dark streak down the center. The sides and belly are silver. Breeding males have small bumps on their body and some of their fins.  The silverjaw minnow has a life span of about three years.


The silverjaw minnow may be found in east central Illinois and the southern one-third of the state. This fish lives in permanent creeks and rivers in their shallow, sandy stretches. The silverjaw minnow swims in schools on or near the bottom. It spawns in spring. This fish eats insects.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native