Red Shiner
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom 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 dorsal fin: Note that pigment is more or less evenly distributed on all membranes.
  • Close-up flank: Notice the diamond-shaped scales; there are 32-36 scales in the lateral line, which is slightly decurved.
  • Close-up anal fin: There are nine anal fin rays (rarely 8 or 10).
  • Close-up dorsal fin: Notice that the pigment is more or less evenly distributed on all membranes.
  • Close-up head: Notice that the mouth is blunter and the body is deeper than in the spotfin shiner.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the blue body color, red fins, the post-opercular bar, and the darkly pigmented dorsal fin.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the blue body color, red fins, the post-opercular bar, and the darkly pigmented dorsal fin.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the blue body color, red fins, the post-opercular bar, and the darkly pigmented dorsal fin.
  • Close-up head of a breeding male: Notice the tubercles on the top of the head (hard to see in this photograph).
  • Side view of a yearling: Juveniles are similar to adults, but the body is not quite as deep.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth terminal without any teeth. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Solid silver or light olive. Dorsal and caudal fins uniformly darkly pigmented (often only diffuse speckling); other fins clear except in breeding males (see below). 32-36 Cycloid lateral line scales, distinctly diamond shaped. Body shape and size: Body moderately deep and laterally compressed; oval in cross-section. Typically 50-75 mm (2-3 in) TL; maximum about 200 mm (4 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Fokred tail. Single dorsal fin with 8 rays and no spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 9 rays (rarely 8 or 10) and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
All dorsal fin membranes are uniformly darkly pigmented, 9 anal fin rays (rarely 8-10), a deep body (standard length/depth usually < 3.5), and a blunt snout. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males – Head, back, and sides bluish. Isthmus area reddish, and a reddish vertical crescent on the flanks several scale rows behind the opercle. Pectoral, pelvic, anal, and caudal fins red; dorsal fin dark gray or black. Numerous tubercles cover the head and snout; smaller amounts of tubercles occur on the chin, flanks, and fin rays. Females – fine tubercles on top of head and on back anterior to dorsal fin.
Juveniles
Similar to adults.
Hybrids
None known from Wisconsin.
Compare Similar Species
Lateral Line
Rudd37-47 rounded scales; lateral line strongly decurved
Shiner, Common34-40 highly elevated scales; lateral line decurved
Shiner, Golden42-54 rounded scales; lateral line strongly decurved
Shiner, Red32-36 diamond-shaped scales; lateral line slightly decurved
Shiner, Spotfin35-39 diamond-shaped scales; lateral line slightly decurved
Shiner, Striped36-40 highly elevated scales; lateral line decurved
Anal Fin
Rudd11-13 rays
Shiner, CommonUsually 9 rays, rarely 8 or 10
Shiner, Golden11-15 rays
Shiner, RedUsually 9 rays, rarely 8 or 10
Shiner, Spotfin8 rays
Shiner, StripedUsually 9 rays, rarely 8 or 10
Dorsal Fin
Rudd9-11 rays; membranes lack dark pigment but fin (including membranes) is red in adults
Shiner, Common8 rays; membranes generally unpigmented, rays outlined with dark pigment in breeding males
Shiner, Golden8 rays (rarely 7 or 9); membranes generally unpigmented; fin light olive or yellowish 8 rays (rarely 7 or 9); membranes generally unpigmented; fin light olive or yellowish
Shiner, Red8 rays; all membranes with uniform dark pigment
Shiner, Spotfin8 rays; membranes of last 2-3 rays pigmented; blotch-like in adults, a few speckles in juveniles
Shiner, Striped8 rays; membranes generally unpigmented, rays outlined with dark pigment in breeding adults
Other Diagnostic Features
RuddScaled keel in front of vent; 8-13 gill rakers
Shiner, CommonUsually 25-32 (21-37) predorsal scales; little chin pigment
Shiner, GoldenScaleless keel in front of vent; 16-21 gill rakers
Shiner, RedSnout blunter and body deeper than spotfin shiner
Shiner, SpotfinSnout more pointed and body not as deep as red shiner
Shiner, StripedUsually 16-19 (13-23) predorsal scales; chin 1/3 pigmented
Similarity Index
RuddModerately similar
Shiner, CommonModerately similar
Shiner, GoldenModerately similar
Shiner, RedN/A
Shiner, SpotfinVery similar
Shiner, StripedModerately similar
Comments
RuddNot established in WI. There is a very slight chance that a survivor from past bait-bucket introductions may be encountered.
Shiner, RedNot native to WI; may occur here as a stray from populations further south.
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