Pugnose Minnow
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Close-up anal fin: There are 8 (rarely 7) anal fin rays.
  • Close-up head: Notice that the mouth is superior--almost vertical.
  • Close-up dorsal fin: There are 9 dorsal rays.
  • Close-up head: The lateral stripe continues across the snout, with pigment on the snout and lips; the mouth is superior.
  • There is a light area above the lateral stripe, and the dorsal scales are moderately outlined in pigment.
  • The dorsal scales are lightly outlined in pigment, with little other pigment on the body.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Breeding males do not have a lateral stripe; they have a nearly vertical mouth and "flag" pigmentation on the dorsal fin.
  • Side view of a breeding female: Breeding females have a lateral stripe and weak "flag" pigmentation, plus a distended belly.
  • Close-up dorsal fin of a breeding male: Notice the pigmentation on the anterior and posterior of the membranes, with none in the middle ("flag" pattern).
  • Close-up head of a breeding male: Breeding males develop small tubercles on the lower and upper lip and a superior mouth.
  • Juveniles are similar to adults except for a more pronounced lateral stripe.
  • Juveniles are similar to adults except for a more pronounced lateral stripe.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth superior and almost vertical, without any teeth. No barbels. Snout blunt. Body patterning, color, and scales: Pale silver, cream, light olive, or tan body with either a solid color pattern or a black lateral stripe, the stripe often faint in live specimens but more obvious after preservation. The dorsal scales are moderately outlined in pigment, but there is a light area with little pigment between the lateral stripe and dorsal scales. Fins with little pigment and without distinctive markings (but see breeding males). 35-41 cycloid lateral line scales, rounded in shape. Body shape and size: Body generally fusiform, oval in cross section. Typically 35-50 mm (1.5-2.0 in) TL; maximum about 65 mm (2.5 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Forked tail. Single dorsal fin with 9 rays and no spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 8 rays (rarely 7) and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The pugnose minnow can be distinguished by its superior mouth, round lateral-line scales, slightly deep body, 7 or 8 anal fin rays, and its pre-dorsal scales, which are similar in size and spacing to the flank scales. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males have small tubercles on head, especially upper lip and lower jaw, and on anterior pectoral fin rays. Dorsal fin is darkly pigmented on the membranes of the anterior and posterior rays with no pigment on membranes of middle rays, giving a banded or “flag” appearance.
Juveniles
Similar to adults.
Hybrids
None
Compare Similar Species
Mouth
Minnow, OzarkTerminal, oblique
Minnow, PugnoseSuperior, strongly oblique to nearly vertical
Shiner, BlackchinTerminal, oblique
Shiner, BlacknoseTerminal or slightly subterminal, nearly horizontal
Shiner, IroncolorTerminal, oblique
Shiner, PallidSlightly subterminal, nearly horizontal
Shiner, PugnoseSuperior, strongly oblique to nearly vertical
Shiner, WeedTerminal, oblique
Lateral Stripe
Minnow, OzarkAlways present, with a straight upper margin. Pigment on snout and upper lip but often absent from lower lip and chin.
Minnow, PugnoseSometimes faint or absent; has a straight upper margin when present. Pigment on snout, lips, and chin
Shiner, BlackchinAlways present, usually with an irregular (zig-zag) upper margin. Pigment on upper and lower lips, chin, and snout.
Shiner, BlacknoseAlways present, with a straight upper margin and light area above. A dark crescent outlines the anterior edge of each lateral-line scale. Pigment on snout and upper lip but not lower lip or chin.
Shiner, IroncolorAlways present, dark and wide, with a straight upper margin and a light area above. Pigment on upper and lower lips, chin, and snout.
Shiner, PallidOften faint or absent; has a straight upper margin when present. Pigment on snout but not upper lip, lower lip, or chin.
Shiner, PugnoseAlways present with a straight or irregular (zig-zag) upper margin. Pigment on snout and upper and lower lips, but little on chin
Shiner, WeedAlways present, sometimes thin, with a straight or irregular upper margin and a light area above. Pigment on upper and lower lips, chin, and snout.
Other Distinguishing Features
Minnow, OzarkPeritoneum black; intestine strongly coiled, 2 times total length
Minnow, Pugnose9 dorsal rays
Shiner, BlackchinNone
Shiner, BlacknoseNone
Shiner, IroncolorBreast not scaled; pigmented on roof and floor of mouth
Shiner, PallidPale, with little pigmentation except lateral stripe
Shiner, PugnosePeritoneum dark brown or black
Shiner, WeedAnterior breast not scaled; 7 anal rays
Similarity Index
Minnow, OzarkVery similar
Minnow, PugnoseN/A
Shiner, BlackchinVery similar
Shiner, BlacknoseVery similar
Shiner, IroncolorVery similar
Shiner, PallidVery similar
Shiner, PugnoseVery similar
Shiner, WeedVery similar
Comments
Minnow, OzarkDark lateral stripe, unless otherwise noted 8 anal rays, 8 dorsal rays, a silvery peritoneum with an intestine shorter than their total length, a scaled breast, and no pigment on the roof and floor of the mouth
Minnow, PugnoseDark lateral stripe not always present, unless otherwise noted 8 anal rays, 8 dorsal rays, a silvery peritoneum with an intestine shorter than their total length, a scaled breast, and no pigment on the roof and floor of the mouth
Shiner, BlackchinDark lateral stripe, unless otherwise noted 8 anal rays, 8 dorsal rays, a silvery peritoneum with an intestine shorter than their total length, a scaled breast, and no pigment on the roof and floor of the mouth
Shiner, BlacknoseDark lateral stripe, unless otherwise noted 8 anal rays, 8 dorsal rays, a silvery peritoneum with an intestine shorter than their total length, a scaled breast, and no pigment on the roof and floor of the mouth
Shiner, IroncolorDark lateral stripe, unless otherwise noted 8 anal rays, 8 dorsal rays, a silvery peritoneum with an intestine shorter than their total length, a scaled breast, and no pigment on the roof and floor of the mouth; extirpated from WI
Shiner, PallidDark lateral stripe not always present, unless otherwise noted 8 anal rays, 8 dorsal rays, a silvery peritoneum with an intestine shorter than their total length, a scaled breast, and no pigment on the roof and floor of the mouth
Shiner, PugnoseDark lateral stripe, unless otherwise noted 8 anal rays, 8 dorsal rays, a silvery peritoneum with an intestine shorter than their total length, a scaled breast, and no pigment on the roof and floor of the mouth
Shiner, WeedDark lateral stripe, unless otherwise noted 8 anal rays, 8 dorsal rays, a silvery peritoneum with an intestine shorter than their total length, a scaled breast, and no pigment on the roof and floor of the mouth
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