• Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows and Carps)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 1-2 inches, can reach 2.5 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
Ghost shiners are a small silvery minnow with a rather deep body and usually have 8 anal rays. They have little or no dark pigment anywhere on the body giving them a ghostly appearance. The fins are transparent with no dark markings. The scales along the lateral line just behind the head are about 4 times higher than their width. All fins are rather long, particularly the dorsal and anal fins. Ghost shiners never have a stripe along the sides and the end of the body at the tail base is rather tall. Channel and mimic shiners have at least a faint stripe along the sides, shorter fins, and not as deep of body. Sand shiners usually have 7 instead of 8 anal rays and a distinct stripe down the center of the back.
Habitat and Habits
Ghost shiners are found in relatively clear backwaters of large rivers in areas with little to no current with a clean sand or gravel substrate. In Ohio this species is rather abundant in the lower Maumee River and can also be found in the lower Muskingum River. It is also present to a lesser extent in the Ohio River and occasionally shows up around the mouths of tributaries and small creeks of the Ohio River.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Ghost shiners spawn in late spring and early summer scattering eggs over a sand or gravel substrate. No parental care is given.