• Family: Cyprinidae (minnows and carps)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 2-4 inches, can reach 5 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
Spotfin shiners are silver-blue in color with a darker back and lighter cream colored belly. They are laterally compressed (flat side to side) and have a distinctive diamond shaped crosshatching pattern on the sides formed by dark scale edges. They have a dusky blotch on the webbing of the dorsal fin between the 3 rear fin rays. The front half of their dorsal fin lacks dark pigment in front of this blotch and has a straight rear edge. They have 8 anal fin rays. Breeding male spotfin shiners have intensely steel blue colored sides, and fins flushed with white (yellow or even orange present in fins in parts of their range outside Ohio). The closely related steelcolor shiner differs by having a rounded rear edge to the dorsal fin, dark speckles of pigment in the front half of the dorsal fin, 9 anal fin rays, and a slightly deeper body. Additionally breeding male steelcolor shiners have a red tip to their snout and have fins flushed with yellow rather than white. Breeding males of both species have white tips to the fins which are often visible to an observer above the waters surface.
Habitat and Habits
Spotfin shiners are found throughout Ohio in a wide variety of habitats. They often become very abundant in areas with poor habitat for other species. They are also one of the few minnow species able to thrive in Ohio's many reservoirs.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Spotfin shiners spawn in crevices between rocks or in bark on submerged fallen trees. Spawning takes place throughout the warmer months of the year starting in late May or early June.