Pallid Shiner
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult of a preserved specimen.
  • Head-on view of a preserved specimen.
  • 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 of a preserved specimen.
  • Close-up pelvic fin of a preserved specimen.
  • Close-up mouth: Notice that the mouth is subterminal and that it is pigmented.
  • There is a general lack of pigment on the body, the color in live fish is pallid.
  • The lateral stripe is more prominent in preserved fish; this is the same specimen as above in the previous image.
  • Close-up anal fin: Notice that there are 8 (sometimes 9) anal fin rays.
  • There is a more pronounced lateral stripe in preserved fish as in this specimen.
  • Juveniles are similar to adults.
  • Close-up of anterior body: Juveniles are similar to adults.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth slightly subterminal and essentially horizontal or very slightly oblique (< 25° angle), without any teeth. No barbels. Snout triangular to rounded. Body patterning, color, and scales: Pale silver, cream, light olive, or tan body with either a solid color pattern or a black lateral stripe, the stripe often faint in live specimens but more obvious after preservation. Except for lateral stripe, little or no pigment on body, although the dorsal scales may be lightly outlined with pigment in some specimens. Fins with little pigment and without distinctive markings. 34-37 cycloid lateral line scales, rounded in shape. Body shape and size: Body generally fusiform, oval in cross section. Typically 35-50 mm (1.5-2.0 in) TL; maximum from Wisconsin about 65 mm (2.5 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Forked tail with pointed tips. Single dorsal fin with 8 rays and no spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 8 rays (occasionally 9) and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The pallid shiners can be distinguished by their subterminal mouth, round lateral-line scales, straight lateral line, lack of pigment on the dorsal fin membranes, lack of barbels, and by their pre-dorsal scales, which are similar in size and spacing to the flank scales. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males have small tubercles on cheek, branchiostegal rays, and pectoral fin rays (no photos) but otherwise similar to non-breeders.
Juveniles
Similar to adults.
Hybrids
None
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 X TL
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, OzarkVery similar
Minnow, PugnoseVery similar
Shiner, BlackchinVery similar
Shiner, BlacknoseVery similar
Shiner, IroncolorVery similar
Shiner, PallidN/A
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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