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weed shiner

​weed shiner (Notropis texanus) [state endangered] Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The weed shiner averages about two to three and one-half inches in length. It has a yellow-brown back. The sides and belly are silvery. There is a black stripe on the side that extends from the base of the tail to the tip of the chin. A light-colored stripe can be seen just above the dark band. A dark stripe is also present in front of the dorsal fin. The front edge of the dorsal fin is in front of the front edge of the pelvic fin. Teeth are in the throat. The breeding male has red pigment in the fins and tubercles (bumps) on the head, front of the body and the pectoral fins.


The weed shiner may be found in the northern one-third of Illinois, mainly in the Kankakee River in Kankakee and Iroquois counties and the Green River. It prefers sand-bottomed areas with some aquatic plants. Spawning occurs in summer. Approximately 300 to 400 eggs are deposited. The weed shiner swims in schools at middle water depths, often with other minnows. Its food habits are not well under-stood. This fish lives for about two to three years.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: state endangered, native

The weed shiner occurs in very few locations in the state. Its habitat is threatened due to declining water quality, mainly through pollution and siltation. Protecting and maintaining good water quality in the streams where it is found are essential to its survival.