• Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows and Carps)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: Extirpated
• Adult Size: Typically 1-2 inches, can reach 2.5 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
The pugnose shiner has a very small mouth that sits at an extremely sharp upward angle. This mouth gives the species a very distinctive "pugnosed" appearance which it gets its name from. The tip of the lower jaw has black pigment. This pigment is the beginning of a black stripe that runs through the eye, across the gills, and along the side to the base of the tail. The scales on the back and upper sides have distinct dark edges. There is a narrow stripe of golden colored scales that lack any dark edges just above the black stripe along the sides that sharply contrasts with the back and stripe. Pugnose shiners have a complete lateral line. All the fins are clear and there are 7 or 8 anal fin rays. The pugnose shiner differs from the pugnose minnow by having a complete lateral line, 8 rather than 9 dorsal rays, and lacking the dark pigment present on a pugnose minnows dorsal fin.
Habitat and Habits
Pugnose shiners once occurred in western Lake Erie in bays and marshes with extremely clear waters and profuse amounts of submerged aquatic vegetation. In other states and Canada they have also been found in smaller natural lakes. They were last caught in Ohio waters in 1931 in East Harbor. This species is highly intolerant of turbid (murky) waters and loss of aquatic vegetation. This species has been disappearing across their range in the northern US and southern Canada.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Pugnose shiners presumably spawn in summer and scatter eggs over vegetation but little is known about their life history.