• Family: Cyprinidae (minnows and carps)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 2-3 inches, can reach 3.5 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
Sand shiners are a small silvery minnow with usually 7 anal fin rays. They have no distinct stripe along the sides but do have a stripe down the center of the back. This stripe stops in a wedge shaped spot in front of the dorsal fin and then continues again behind the dorsal fin but does not encircle the base of the fin. The fins are transparent with no dark markings. The scales along the lateral line just behind the head are nearly as wide as they are tall. Sand shiners differ from mimic, channel, and ghost shiners by having a rather distinct stripe down the center of the back, lack of a stripe along the sides, and only 7 rather than 8 anal rays. Additionally, ghost shiners have a deeper body and longer fins.
Habitat and Habits
Sand shiners are found throughout Ohio in medium to large rivers and streams. They are most abundant in streams with sand or fine gravel substrates in pools and low or moderate turbidity (murky waters). They are more tolerant of turbid water than the similar mimic shiner.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Sand shiners spawn in late spring and early summer scattering eggs over a sand or gravel substrate. No parental care is given.