Luxilus cornutus (Mitchill, 1817)
member of the Minnow Family (Cyprinidae)
Spawning Males: Sand Hill River, Polk County, Minnesota 10 June 1993
photos by Konrad P. Schmidt
In a Name?
(No-trope´-iss) means "back keel" in Greek, referring to the keel shape
of the back of a dried out specimen used to describe this genus
Do They Live?
Common shiners occur in all of the major drainages of Minnesota. They occur in lakes, rivers, and streams, but are the most common in streams and small rivers. In these streams, they frequent the downstream ends and riffles, pools, and beaver ponds. Water where they live may be turbid (cloudy) with bottoms of gravel, sand, and mud. They often are found with bluntnose minnows, mimic shiners, emerald shiners, spotfin shiners, and johnny darters.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
The common shiner is an opportunistic omnivore, which means it eats pretty much whatever it comes across and includes both plant and animal items. In fact, common shiners eat about equal amounts of plant and animal matter. Their diet normally consists of a variety of aquatic insects (both the adults and larvae), filamentous algae, and other higher plant matter. Large common shiners also eat small fish.
Do They Reproduce?
Permission is granted for the non-commercial educational or scientific use of the text and images on this Web document. Please credit the author or authors listed below.
Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 23 October 2002