Golden 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.
  • There are 16-21 gill rakers.
  • Close-up of head: Notice that the mouth is superior.
  • Close-up anal fin: There are 13 anal fin rays, with a range from 11-15.
  • The flanks show rounded scales, and 42-54 in lateral line, which is strongly decurved.
  • Close-up dorsal fin: Notice that the dorsal fin is clear to yellowish with 8 rays, rarely 7 or 9.
  • Close-up underside: There is a scale-less keel between the vent and pelvic fins.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles have a less deep body, more silvery color, and a diffuse dark silvery lateral stripe.
  • Close-up head of a young-of-year: Juveniles have a less deep body, more silvery color, and a diffuse dark silvery lateral stripe.
  • Close-up tail of a young-of-year: Juveniles have a less deep body, more silvery color, and a diffuse dark silvery lateral stripe.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles have a less deep body, more silvery color, and a diffuse dark silvery lateral stripe.
  • Comparison of rudd (top) and golden shiner (bottom): Notice the larger size and red fins of the rudd.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth superior (almost vertical) without any teeth. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Solid golden, silver, or light olive (but see Juveniles below). Fins without distinctive markings (but see Breeding Adults below). 42-54 cycloid lateral line scales, rounded in shape. Body shape and size: Body deep and laterally compressed; oval in cross-section (but see Juveniles below). Typically 75-175 mm (3-7 in) TL; maximum reported about 300 mm (12 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Forked tail. Single dorsal fin with 8 rays (rarely 7 or 9) and no spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 11-15 rays and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Fins clear to yellowish (pelvic, anal, and caudal fins may have orange cast in breeding male), dorsal fin rays 8 (rarely 7 or 9), 42-54 (usually more than 44) lateral line scales, 16-21 gill rakers, a scaleless keel between the vent and pelvic fins. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males – Pelvic, anal, and caudal fins may have orange cast; anal fin may have black margin. Flanks may have minute, difficult-to-see tubercles.
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but less deep-bodied and more fusiform. Many specimens have a silvery black lateral stripe.
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, Striped34-40 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 Snout more pointed and body not as deep as red shiner
Shiner, StripedUsually 16-19 (13-23) predorsal scales; chin 1/3 pigmented
Similarity Index
RuddVery similar
Shiner, CommonModerately similar
Shiner, GoldenN/A
Shiner, RedModerately similar
Shiner, SpotfinModerately 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.
Login