Weed 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.
  • Anterior breast view: Notice that there are no scales on the anterior portion of the breast.
  • Close-up anal fin: There are 7 anal fin rays.
  • Top view: The dorsal scales are outlined in pigment.
  • The lateral stripe has a straight upper margin (irregular in some specimens) and light areas above.
  • Close-up mouth: The mouth is terminal and oblique, with pigment on the snout, lips, and chin.
  • Close-up flank: The lateral stripe has a straight upper margin (irregular in some specimens) and light areas above.
  • Alternative view of an adult from turbid water with a thin and inconspicuous stripe (row of spots on lateral line scales).
  • Adult from relatively clear water with fairly obvious stripe.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth terminal and oblique, without any teeth. No barbels. Snout rounded. Body patterning, color, and scales: Olive or tan on dorsal surface above lateral stripe, with a light area immediately above stripe; silvery, or cream below lateral stripe. A black lateral stripe, sometimes thin, with a straight or irregular (zig-zag) upper margin. Pigment on the snout, upper and lower lips, and chin. Dorsal scales strongly outlined in pigment. Fins with little pigment and without distinctive markings. 34-37 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 in) TL; maximum in Wisconsin about 65 mm (2.5 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 7 rays and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The weed shiner can be distinguished by its lateral stripe and round lateral-line scales, 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 the head and pectoral fins and may have an amber or orangish tinge on the body.
Juveniles
Similar to adults.
Hybrids
None confirmed from Wisconsin.
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, PugnoseVery similar
Shiner, BlackchinVery similar
Shiner, BlacknoseVery similar
Shiner, IroncolorVery similar
Shiner, PallidVery similar
Shiner, PugnoseVery similar
Shiner, WeedN/A
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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