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Red Shiner Cyprinella lutrensis (Notropis lutrensis)


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Red Shiner
credit: Marine discovery/CCSA

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Family: Cyprinidae, Carps and Minnows view all from this family

Description The Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis) is a species of ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family. They are deep-bodied and laterally compressed and can grow to about three inches in length. For most of the year both males and females have silver sides and whitish abdomens. Males in breeding coloration, on the other hand, have iridescent pink-purple-blue sides and a red crown and fins (except the dorsal fin which remains dark).

Red shiners can live up to three years. They are omnivorous since they eat both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates as well as algae. Red shiners have also been known to eat the eggs and larvae of native fish found in locations into which the red shiner has been introduced.

Red shiners are found naturally in a variety of aquatic habitats, including backwaters, creek mouths, streams containing sand and silt substrates, riffles, and pools. They are tolerant of areas of frequent high turbidity and siltation, but they tend to avoid waters with high acidity. Red shiner are habitat generalists in that they are adapted to favor a wide range of environmental conditions that most other fish species cannot tolerate. These include habitats that are degraded due to human disturbance, and those with poor water quality (such as polluted waterways), natural physiochemical extremes, and seasonally intermittent flows.

Dimensions Up to 3 1/2" (9 cm).

Habitat Rivers & streams.

Range Plains, Great Lakes, Southeast, Southwest, Texas.