SCIENTIFIC NAME: Notropis atherinoides
Characteristics: The emerald shiner is a streamlined, elongate minnow with a small head and terminal, oblique mouth. The chin is extensively pigmented, while the fins are colorless. Dorsal and anal fins are pointed, and the anal fin is generally falcate. While silvery in appearance, this species has a pale yellow-olive back and a faint lateral stripe. The emerald shiner resembles Notropis rubellus, the rosyface shiner. The rosyface shiner is generally smaller and darker, with the lateral line completely outlined with melanophores and with straight-edged dorsal and anal fins. Other species that may be confused with N. atherinoides are the silverstripe shiner, N. stilbius, and the silverside shiner, N. candidus. See Rafinesque (1818a) for original description.
ADULT SIZE: 2 to 4.1 in (50 to 105 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: The emerald shiner is distributed from the Galveston Bay drainage in Texas east to the Mobile basin and north through the Mississippi basin. This species also occurs throughout much of Canada. Our sampling efforts indicate that in Alabama emerald shiners are most abundant in main river channels below the Fall Line in the Mobile basin. We have also encountered them in lesser abundance above the Fall Line. The species is widespread and often abundant in the Tennessee River drainage.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Notropis atherinoides is widespread and abundant in large, slow rivers and reservoirs and apparently tolerates a wide range of turbidity conditions and bottom types. It is also found in the lower reaches of larger tributaries in similar habitats. Breeding individuals have been found from April through July, and spawning has been reported to occur at night in quiet waters over sand and mud substrates (Becker, 1983). Prey of the emerald shiner consists of terrestrial and aquatic insects, algae, and microcrustaceans. Emerald shiners are important forage fish for sport and game species in large rivers and impoundments.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Rafinesque described the emerald shiner in 1818.
Notropis means keeled back.
Atherinoides is like a silverside of the family Atherinidae.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.
Note: In Alabama, it is illegal to stock or move any fish, mussel, snail or crayfish to any public water without a permit.
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