Ozark Minnow
  • 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.
  • View of intestine: The peritoneum is black, the intestine is long and tightly coiled.
  • The lateral stripe has a straight upper margin.
  • Close-up anal fin: There are 8 anal fin rays.
  • Top view: Notice that the dorsal scales are outlined in pigment.
  • Close-up mouth: The mouth is terminal and oblique with pigment on the snout and the upper lip and very slightly on the lower lip but not on the chin.
  • Close-up flank: The lateral stripe is often reduced to a row of dark blotches on the lateral line scales.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Breeding males develop tubercles on the top of the head and on the predorsal area.
  • Close-up of ventral area of a breeding male: Breeding males develop yellowish fins.
  • 3/4 view of head of a breeding male: Breeding males develop tubercles on the top of the head and on the predorsal area.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Breeding males develop a yellowish-orange color on the fins and lower part of the head.
  • Close-up head of a breeding male: Breeding males develop tubercles on the top of the head and the predorsal area.
  • Top view of head of a breeding male: Breeding males develop tubercles on the top of the head and the predorsal area.
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: Dark olive or brown on dorsal surface grading to silver above lateral stripe; silvery, or cream below lateral stripe. A black lateral stripe, with a straight upper margin. Pigment on the snout and upper lip but often absent from lower lip and chin. Dorsal scales moderately to strongly outlined in pigment. Fins with little pigment and without distinctive markings. 36-38 cycloid lateral line scales, rounded in shape. Body shape and size: Body generally fusiform, oval in cross section. Typically 35-65 mm (1.5-2.5 in) TL; maximum in Wisconsin about 85 mm (3.5 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 8 rays and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The Ozark minnow can be distinguished by its lateral stripe, straight lateral line, round lateral-line scales, lack of barbels, 8 anal fin rays, its pre-dorsal scales, which are similar in size and spacing to the flank scales, a black peritoneum and a gut length about two times total length, and its terminal mouth. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males have tubercles on the top of the head, scales, and pectoral fins, and the ventral surface is often yellowish or yellow-orange. Females have some tubercles on head and may be yellowish ventrally (no photos).
Juveniles
Similar to adults.
Hybrids
None known 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, OzarkN/A
Minnow, PugnoseVery similar
Shiner, BlackchinVery similar
Shiner, BlacknoseVery similar
Shiner, IroncolorVery similar
Shiner, PallidVery similar
Shiner, PugnoseVery similar
Shiner, WeedVery similar
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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