Duskystripe Shiner

Duskystripe shiner male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
Scientific Name
Luxilus pilsbryi
Cyprinidae (minnows) in the order Cypriniformes (carps, minnows, and loaches)

The duskystripe shiner has a dark stripe along the midside extending from nose to tail; an iridescent greenish-brown back with a narrow, lighter-colored band above the lateral dark stripe; and a silvery-white lower side and belly. Breeding males have bright red fins, cheeks, and underside of head and body. Tip of snout is blue.

Similar species: Bleeding and cardinal shiners look similar, but the ranges for those species do not overlap with the duskystripe shiner.


Total length: 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches; maximum about 4 3/4 inches.

Where To Find
image of Duskystripe Shiner distribution map

In Missouri, only found in the White River system of southwest and south-central Missouri.

Typically found in stream pools in mixed-species schools with a number of other minnows. Most commonly found in Ozark headwater streams with swift riffles and pools with clean gravel bottoms. Unlike the similar cardinal shiner, this species can be found in headwater streams.

Aquatic and terrestrial insects. Researchers have also found in the stomachs of this species algae, leafy and woody material, and seeds from land plants.

Life Cycle

Few live beyond four years. Peak activity is at dawn and dusk. Spawns over the gravel depressions around the mound nests of hornyhead chubs, usually in close association with another minnow species: southern redbelly dace, Ozark minnow, and rosyface shiner. Sometimes hybridizes with those species.

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Similar Species
About Fishes in Missouri
Missouri has more than 200 kinds of fish, more than are found in most neighboring states. Fishes live in water, breathe with gills, and have fins instead of legs. Most are covered with scales. Most fish in Missouri “look” like fish and could never be confused with anything else. True, lampreys and eels have snakelike bodies — but they also have fins and smooth, slimy skin, which snakes do not.