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silver redhorse

silver redhorse (Moxostoma anisurum) Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The silver redhorse may attain a length of 10 to 20 inches. Its dorsal fin may be straight or slightly rounded. The back edge of the deeply-divided lower lip is v-shaped. The lips are covered with bumps (papillae). The dorsal and tail fins are gray. The tail fin is forked. The back is green-blue to brown, the sides are yellow or brass and the anal and paired fins are yellow or red. The breeding male has large projections (tubercles) on his anal fin and tail fin (lower lobe) and smaller tubercles on the remainder of the tail fin and the pelvic fins. The maximum life span is about 10 years.


The silver redhorse may be found statewide in Illinois. This fish lives in rivers with clear water, permanent flow, low gradient, low turbidity and rock or gravel bottoms. It may also be found in some lakes. The silver redhorse spawns in spring. Adults gather at the upper ends of gravel riffles and through their actions create pitlike areas. This fish eats mainly insect larvae.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Catostomidae

Illinois Status: common, native