Common 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 underside of head: There is no pigment on the chin.
  • There are usually more than 25 predorsal scales between the nape and dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin: There are usually 9 anal fin rays (rarely 8 or 10).
  • Close-up flank: The lateral-line scales are elevated, which is typical of the Luxilus group.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Breeding males show steel blue and reddish coloration.
  • Close-up head of a breeding male: Notice the tubercles.
  • Head area of a breeding male: Notice the elevated lateral line scales.
  • Top view of head: Notice the tubercles on this breeding male.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the reddish coloration.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles have a more elongated body and less elevated lateral line scales.
  • Juveniles have a more elongated body and less elevated lateral line scales.
  • Juveniles have a more elongated body and less elevated lateral line scales.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles have a more elongated body and less elevated lateral line scales.
  • Alternative view of caudal region.
  • Alternative view of anal fin showing 9 rays (rarely 8 or 10).
  • View of intestines: Notice the black peritoneum (over silver) and the moderately long intestine.
  • Side view of a striped shiner X common shiner hybrid (?): This hybrid is indistinguishable from parentals in side view.
  • Anterior top view of a striped shiner X common shiner hybrid (?): There are about 23-24 predorsal scales, indicating greater proximity to the common shiner than to the striped shiner.
  • Intestines of a common shiner X rosyface shiner hybrid: Notice the intermediate peritoneum characteristics of a silver background with black spots.
  • Close-up chin of a Striped shiner X Common shiner hybrid (?): Notice the slight pigment on the chin edge, indicating greater proximity to the common shiner than to the striped shiner.
  • Side view of a common shiner X rosyface shiner hybrid: Notice the intermediate shape, not as deep as the common shiner, less elongated than the rosyface shiner.
  • Close-up flank of a common shiner X rosyface shiner hybrid: Lateral line scales are little elevated, the pelvic fins are slightly ahead of the dorsal fins indicating rosyface characteristics.
  • Close-up anal fin of a common shiner X rosyface shiner hybrid: Notice the 9 anal-fin rays indicating common shiner characteristics.
  • Close-up head of a common shiner X rosyface shiner hybrid: The snout is relatively short and rounded indicating common shiner characteristics.
  • Side view of a common shiner X hornyhead chub hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance between the two species (body shape, scales, mouth).
  • Close-up flank of a common shiner X hornyhead chub hybrid: Notice the slightly elevated scales (common shiner), the dark pigment and the hint of a stripe (hornyhead chub).
  • Close-up anal fin of a common shiner X hornyhead chub hybrid: Notice the 8 anal rays (intermediate between the two species).
  • Close-up head of a common shiner X hornyhead chub hybrid: Notice the head shape and the slightly subterminal mouth, both hornyhead chub characteristics.
  • Close-up mouth of a common shiner X hornyhead chub hybrid: Notice the lack of a barbel at corner of the mouth indicating a common shiner characteristic.
  • Comparison of hornyhead chub (top), common shiner (bottom) and hybrid (middle): Notice the intermediate appearance of the hybrid.
  • Close-up anal fin of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice the 8 anal fin rays, indicating a creek chub characteristic.
  • Close-up mouth of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice the medium-sized mouth, indicating a common shiner characteristic.
  • Side view of a common shiner X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the intermediate number of slightly elevated lateral line scales and the lack of stripes (breeding male).
  • Close-up anal fin of a common shiner X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the 8 anal rays, a southern redbelly dace characteristics.
  • Close-up flank of a common shiner X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the intermediate size and elevation of the lateral line scales and the lack of stripes, both common shiner characteristics.
  • Close-up head of a common shiner X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the stripe anterior to the eye (southern redbelly dace characteristic), and the mouth extending to the eye (common shiner characteristic).
  • Side view of southern redbelly dace (top), common shiner (bottom), and hybrid (middle): Notice the intermediate character of the hybrid.
  • Close-up dorsal fin of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice the lack of a spot at the anterior base of the dorsal fin, indicating a common shiner characteristic.
  • Side view of a redside dace X common shiner hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance of the scales and the mouth between the two species.
  • Close-up head of a redside dace X common shiner hybrid: Notice the large mouth and the pointed snout, both redside dace characteristics.
  • Close-up flank of a redside dace X common shiner hybrid: Notice the silvery flanks and the relatively large and somewhat elevated lateral line scales, both common shiner characteristics.
  • Side view of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice the creek chub body shape, the intermediate lateral line scales, as well as the mouth and the lack of dorsal fin spots from the common shiner.
  • Close-up head and flank of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice the intermediate lateral line scale size and elevation as well as the common shiner mouth size.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth terminal without any teeth. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Solid silver color. Sometimes dark shading on the anterior exposed portion of the scales on the flanks gives the vague impression of spotting. Fins without distinctive markings. 34-40 cycloid lateral line scales; highly elevated, their height 3.5-5 times their width. Body shape and size: Body moderately deep and laterally compressed (but see Juveniles); oval in cross-section. Typically 75-150 mm (3-6 in) TL; maximum about 200 mm (8 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 9 rays (rarely 8 or 10) and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Predorsal scales 21-37, but usually 25-32, underside of chin with little pigment. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males – Head and back a dark lead-blue color, sides and fins pink to red. Some specimens with diffuse dark stripes on back. Large tubercles on head, snout, and chin; smaller tubercles on back between head and dorsal fin and on anterior ray of dorsal and pectoral fins.
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but a less deep body and more fusiform in shape.
Hybrids
Striped shiner X common shiner; redside dace X common shiner; hornyhead chub X common shiner; creek chub X common shiner; southern redbelly dace X common shiner; rosyface shiner X common shiner.
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, CommonN/A
Shiner, GoldenModerately similar
Shiner, RedModerately similar
Shiner, SpotfinModerately similar
Shiner, StripedVery 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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