Spotfin 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 flank: Notice the diamond-shaped scales; there are 35-39 scales in the lateral line, which is slightly decurved.
  • Close-up anal fin: There are eight anal fin rays.
  • Close-up dorsal fin: Notice that there is pigment on the membranes between the last 2-3 rays of the dorsal fin.
  • Close-up head region: The spotfin shiner has a more pointed snout and is less deep bodied than the red shiner.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the steel-blue body color, the yellowish pectoral/pelvic fins and the intensely pigmented dorsal and tail fins.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the steel-blue body color, the yellowish pectoral/pelvic fins and the intensely pigmented dorsal and tail fins.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the steel-blue body color, the yellowish pectoral/pelvic fins and the intensely pigmented dorsal and tail fins.
  • Top view head of a breeding male: Notice the tubercles.
  • Dorsal fin of a yearling: Notice the limited pigment on the membranes between the last 2-3 rays of the dorsal fin.
  • Side view of a yearling: Yearlings are less deep and have a more fusiform body shape.
  • Dorsal fin of a yearling: Notice the limited pigment on the membranes between the last 2-3 rays of the dorsal fin.
  • Side view of a yearling: Yearlings are less deep and have a more fusiform body shape.
  • Alternative view of the dorsal fin.
  • Alternative view of the caudal region.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth terminal without any teeth. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Solid silver, sometimes with a bluish cast. There may be a broad diffuse dark lateral stripe posterior to the dorsal fin, best seen in preserved specimens. Sometimes there is dark shading on the anterior exposed portion of the scales on the flanks that gives the vague impression of spotting. Fins without distinctive markings except for the pigment on the last 2-3 membranes of the dorsal fin (see above). 35-39 cycloid lateral line scales, distinctly diamond shaped. Body shape and size: Body moderately deep and laterally compressed (but see Juveniles); oval in cross-section. Typically 50-88 mm (2-3.5 in) TL; maximum about 215 mm (4.5 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Forked tail. Single dorsal fin with 8 rays and no spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 8 rays and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Last 2-3 dorsal fin membranes with dark pigment, forming a distinct blotch in large adults but limited to a few speckles in juveniles. Anal fin rays 8. The spotfin shiner has a more elongated body (standard length/depth > 3.5) and pointed snout.
Breeding Adults
Males – Head and back steel blue grading to yellowish white on the belly. Pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins yellow, white near tips. The dorsal fin has a conspicuous dark blotch of pigment on posterior 3 membranes; other membranes have a dusting of pigment. Numerous tubercles cover the head and snout; smaller amounts of tubercles occur on the anterior edge of pectoral fin, anal rays, and anterior flanks. Females – occasionally a few tubercles are found on the top of the head and anterior flanks.
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but with a less deep body and more fusiform in shape. Only speckles of pigment are found on the dorsal fin membranes.
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
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, RedVery similar
Shiner, SpotfinN/A
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.
Login