Creek Chub
  • 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: Notice the pigment spot at the base of the anterior dorsal rays.
  • Close-up mouth: Notice the large mouth that extends almost to middle of the eye.
  • Close-up mouth: Notice the small barbel between lip and upper jaw (absent in many specimens).
  • Close-up flank: Notice the diffuse lateral stripe and the anterior dorsal fin spot.
  • There are 49-66 lateral line scales; also notice the large mouth with a rounded snout.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head as well as the tubercles.
  • Close-up head of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head and the tubercles.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head and the tubercles.
  • Close-up head of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head and the tubercles.
  • Top view of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head and the tubercles.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head and the tubercles.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults, except that the spot at the anterior base of the dorsal fin is absent or only poorly developed.
  • There is a silvery peritoneum and a short digestive tract.
  • Alternative view of caudal peduncle area.
  • Alternative side view of two adults.
  • Side view of a redside dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance between the two species, especially mouth, scales, dorsal fin, and opercle.
  • Side view of a southern redbelly dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the medium-sized mouth (intermediate characteristic), the small lateral line scales (s. redbelly dace), and the single lateral stripe (creek chub).
  • Close-up anal fin of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice the 8 anal fin rays (creek chub characteristic).
  • Close-up mouth of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice the medium-sized mouth (common shiner characteristic).
  • Close-up flank of a southern redbelly dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the lack of a dorsal fin spot and the small lateral line scales (s. redbelly dace), as well as the single lateral stripe (creek chub).
  • Close-up head of a southern redbelly dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the medium-sized mouth (intermediate characteristic).
  • Intestine of a southern redbelly dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the black peritoneum (s. redbelly dace), and the moderate length of the digestive tract (intermediate characteristic).
  • Side view of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice creek chub body shape, the intermediate lateral line scales, and the common shiner mouth size and lack of a dorsal fin spot.
  • Close-up head of a common shiner X creek chub hybrid: Notice the intermediate lateral line scale size and elevation and the common shiner mouth size.
  • 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 (common shiner characteristic).
  • Close-up head of a redside dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the large mouth with rounded snout (creek chub), and the small lateral line scales in red color by the opercle (redside dace).
  • Close-up dorsal fin of a redside dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the lack of a spot at the anterior base of the dorsal fin, indicating a redside dace characteristic.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and Snout: Terminal and relatively large, extending back to the middle of the eye. A very small inconspicuous barbel may be found between the lip and the snout about midway from the corner of the mouth to the tip of the snout, but this feature is either absent or extremely difficult to find in most Wisconsin specimens. Body Pattern: Color varies from solid dark brown, olive, silver, grayish brown, brown, or grayish on sides. Others with dark mottling and still others with a dark lateral stripe. The dorsal surfaces are darker, grading to white, silver or cream on the belly. A dark spot at the base of the origin of the dorsal fin. Body Shape: Fusiform and robust, round in cross-section. Typical adult size is 75-175 mm TL (3-7 in), with a maximum of about 300 mm (12 in).
Fins
Forked tail. Single relatively short dorsal fin with 8 rays and without spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. The anal fin has 8 rays and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The creek chub has a large terminal mouth. Dark spot at the anterior base of the dorsal fin. Inconspicuous barbels sometimes present at the corner of the upper and lower lips. 49-66 cycloid lateral line scales. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Breeding males may have pronounced reddish color on the head, especially on the opercle and throat region. Body and fins also red or orange, sometimes with blue, purple, or yellow cast on head and body. Large pointed tubercles on upper side of head, small tubercles on opercle, pectoral fins, and caudal penduncle.
Juveniles
Juveniles tend to be more silvery, with the stripe absent or much less pronounced. The spot at the anterior base of the dorsal fin usually faint or absent.
Hybrids
Creek chub X Redside dace; Creek chub X Common shiner; Creek chub X Southern redbelly dace.
Compare Similar Species
Mouth
Chub, CreekTerminal; large, extends almost to middle of eye
Chub, HornyheadSlightly subterminal; moderate size, extends to anterior of eye
Chub, LakeSlightly subterminal; small, barely extends to front of eye
Dace, FinescaleTerminal; moderate size, extends to anterior of eye
Dace, PearlTerminal; small barely extends to front of eye
Dace, RedsideSlightly superior; very large, extends to middle or back of eye
Barbels
Chub, CreekSometimes present in groove between lip and upper jaw
Chub, HornyheadAlways present in corner of mouth
Chub, LakeAlways present in corner of mouth
Dace, FinescaleNone
Dace, PearlSometimes present in groove between lip and upper jaw
Dace, RedsideNone
Body Pattern
Chub, CreekVariable; solid color, mottled, or with dark lateral stripe. Dark spot at anterior base of dorsal fin (absent or faint in young)
Chub, HornyheadDark lateral stripe ending in dark spot at base of tail; stripe and spot faint or absent in large adults
Chub, LakeDark with faint mottling and sometimes a diffuse lateral stripe posterior to dorsal fin
Dace, FinescaleDark back, lighter on upper flank, and then dark lateral stripe
Dace, PearlDark gray, olive, or brown with fine mottling; often a diffuse dark lateral stripe present, but faint or absent in some adults
Dace, RedsideWhite or yellow lateral stripe on upper flanks, below this is a broad lateral stripe that is orange or red anteriorly and black beyond dorsal fin
Lateral Line Scales
Chub, Creek49-66
Chub, Hornyhead38-48
Chub, Lake60-67
Dace, Finescale72-89
Dace, Pearl62-75
Dace, Redside62-75
Similarity Index
Chub, CreekN/A
Chub, HornyheadVery similar
Chub, LakeVery similar
Dace, FinescaleVery similar
Dace, PearlVery similar
Dace, RedsideVery similar
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