Hornyhead 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 anal fin: There are 7 anal rays.
  • Notice the dark lateral stripe and the caudal spot; there are 38-48 lateral line scales.
  • Close-up mouth: Notice the slightly subterminal, moderate sized mouth that extends to the front of the eye.
  • Close-up head: Notice the slightly subterminal, moderate sized mouth and the barbel in corner of mouth.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head, the tubercles on top of the head, and the red spot behind the eye.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head, the tubercles on top of the head, and the red spot behind the eye.
  • Oblique view of head of a breeding male: Notice the reddish color around the head, the tubercles on top of the head, and the red spot behind the eye.
  • Close-up head of a breeding male: Notice the reddish spot behind the eye and the numerous tubercles on the head
  • Top view head of a breeding male: Notice the tubercles on top of the head.
  • Top view of head of a breeding male: Notice the tubercles on top of the head.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults, but display a pronounced caudal spot and a reddish brown tail.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults, but display a pronounced caudal spot and a reddish brown tail.
  • Side view of a yearling: Juveniles are similar to adults, but display a pronounced caudal spot and a reddish brown tail.
  • Notice the silvery peritoneum and the short digestive tract.
  • 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), as well as the dark pigment and the hint of stripe (hornyhead chub).
  • Close-up anal fin of a common shiner X hornyhead chub hybrid: Notice the intermediate number of 8 anal rays.
  • 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 barbels at the corner of the mouth indicating a common shiner characteristic.
  • Side views of hornyhead chub (top), common shiner (bottom), and their hybrid (middle): Notice the intermediate appearance of the hybrid.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and Snout: Moderate in size and slightly subterminal. Inconspicuous barbel in corner of mouth. No teeth. Body Pattern: Back is olive brown, sides are silvery, and belly is white. Also has a dark lateral stripe and a spot at the base of the tail, which is faint or absent in some adults. Fins with decorative markings. Body Shape: Fusiform and robust, round in cross-section. Typical adult size is 100-150 mm TL (4-6 in), with a maximum of about 225 mm (9 in).
Fins
Forked tail. A single relatively short dorsal fin with 8 rays and without spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 7 rays and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Moderate slightly subterminal mouth, inconspicuous barbel in corner of mouth. 38-48 cycloid lateral line scales. Dark lateral stripe and caudal spot. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males have numerous large pointed tubercles on top of head. Smaller tubercles on pectoral fins. Red or orange spot on upper opercle behind eye.
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but with more obvious lateral stripe and caudal spot. Tail is typically reddish.
Hybrids
Hornyhead chub X Common shiner.
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, CreekVery similar
Chub, HornyheadN/A
Chub, LakeModerately similar
Dace, FinescaleModerately similar
Dace, PearlModerately similar
Dace, RedsideModerately similar
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