Gravel Chub
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view of an adult (preserved specimen).
  • Bottom view of an adult (preserved specimen).
  • Head-on view of an adult (preserved specimen).
  • Close-up flank (preserved specimen).
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail (preserved specimen).
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin (preserved specimen with slightly split fin).
  • Close-up pelvic fin (preserved specimen).
  • Close-up underside of head: Notice the thin fleshy lips with a barbel at the corners of the mouth (preserved specimen).
  • The gravel chub has 38-43 lateral line scales and X, Y, and W markings on its side.
  • Close-up of head: The snout is slightly overhanging with a subterminal mouth.
  • Close-up of head: There is a barbel at each corner of the mouth, no frenum, and thin and fleshy lips.
  • Close-up flank: Notice the X, Y, and W markings (preserved specimen).
DescriptionSimilar Species
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Mouth and Snout: Mouth subterminal withou any teeth. Small, relatively inconspicuous barbels at the corners of the mouth. Thin fleshy lips, no frenum connecting snout with upper lip. Body Pattern: Sides gray, silvery, or tan with some scales outlined in black pigment to form X, W, and Y markings. Grading to white on belly. Fins clear. Body Shape: Fusiform, with the ventral area somewhat dorso-ventrally flattened. Typical adult size is 50-85 mm TL (2-3.5 in), with a maximum of 100 mm (4 in).
Forked tail. Single dorsal fin with 8 rays and no spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 7 rays and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Dark X, W, and Y markings on sides. Small relatively inconspicuous barbels at corners of the mouth. 38-43 cycloid lateral line scales. About 32 scale rows around body. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males have minute barbels on head, anterior scales, and pectoral fins.
Similar to adults.
None know from Wisconsin.
Compare Similar Species
Chub, GravelSubterminal mouth; thin fleshy lips; no frenum
Chub, ShoalInferior mouth; thin fleshy lips; no frenum
Chub, SilverSubterminal mouth; thin fleshy lips; no frenum
Dace, Blacknose WesternSubterminal mouth; thick fleshy lips; frenum present
Dace, LongnoseInferior mouth; thick fleshy lips; frenum present
Minnow, SuckermouthInferior mouth; thick fleshy lips; no frenum
Stoneroller, CentralSubterminal mouth; ridge on lower jaw; no frenum
Stoneroller, LargescaleSubterminal mouth; ridge on lower jaw; no frenum
Sucker, WhiteInferior mouth; thick fleshy lips; no frenum
Chub, GravelInconspicuous
Chub, ShoalShort but conspicuous
Chub, SilverInconspicuous
Dace, Blacknose WesternInconspicuous
Dace, LongnoseInconspicuous
Minnow, SuckermouthNone
Stoneroller, CentralNone
Stoneroller, LargescaleNone
Sucker, WhiteNone
Body Pattern
Chub, GravelX, W, & Y markings
Chub, ShoalPepper-like spots
Chub, SilverSolid silver
Dace, Blacknose WesternMottled and/or lateral stripe
Dace, LongnoseMottled and/or lateral strip
Minnow, SuckermouthLateral stripe (may be faint)
Stoneroller, CentralMottled and/or lateral stripe
Stoneroller, LargescaleMottled and/or lateral stripe
Sucker, WhiteSolid, spotted, or mottled
Lateral Line Scales
Chub, Gravel38-43
Chub, Shoal36-40
Chub, Silver37-47
Dace, Blacknose Western60-75
Dace, Longnose61-75
Minnow, Suckermouth43-51
Stoneroller, Central47-58
Stoneroller, Largescale41-48
Sucker, White39-115
Circumferential Scales
Chub, Gravel~ 32
Chub, Shoal~ 28
Chub, Silver~ 28
Dace, Blacknose Western~ 52
Dace, Longnose~ 54
Minnow, Suckermouth~ 34
Stoneroller, Central38-50
Stoneroller, Largescale29-38
Sucker, White~32-~90
Dorsal Rays
Chub, Gravel8
Chub, Shoal8
Chub, Silver8
Dace, Blacknose Western8
Dace, Longnose8
Minnow, Suckermouth8
Stoneroller, Central8
Stoneroller, Largescale8
Sucker, White9-15
Similarity Index
Chub, GravelN/A
Chub, ShoalModerately similar
Chub, SilverModerately similar
Dace, Blacknose WesternModerately similar
Dace, LongnoseModerately similar
Minnow, SuckermouthModerately similar
Stoneroller, CentralModerately similar
Stoneroller, LargescaleModerately similar
Sucker, WhiteModerately similar
Sucker, WhiteAll suckers at the juvenile stage (Catostomidae: Catostomus, Hypentelium, Minytrema, Moxostoma) are moderately similar and all criteria as described for the white sucker apply.