Field Guide

Fishes

Showing 1 - 10 of 27 results
Media
Golden shiner male, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Notemigonus crysoleucas
Description
The golden shiner is a deep-bodied minnow with a greenish-olive back and a faint dusky stripe along the midline. It has a fleshy keel along the midline of the belly. It is widespread in Missouri.
Media
Fathead minnow side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pimephales promelas
Description
The fathead minnow has a blunt, rounded snout, rounded fins, a dusky stripe along the side, and a spot at the base of the tail fin. It is most abundant in pools of small prairie creeks because it tolerates rather high temperatures, extreme turbidity, and low oxygen.
Media
Cypress minnow side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hybognathus hayi
Description
The cypress minnow, like its Bootheel swampland habitat, is in danger of vanishing from Missouri. On the forward part of this fish's side, note the distinct cross-hatched pattern made by the dark-edged scales.
Media
Southern redbelly dace side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Chrosomus erythrogaster (formerly Phoxinus erythrogaster)
Description
The southern redbelly dace has two dusky stripes separated by a broad golden stripe along the side. The bellies of males turn brilliant red in spring. It lives in small creeks and spring branches of the Ozarks with permanent flow of cool, clear water and a gravel or sand bottom.
Media
Ozark minnow female, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Notropis nubilus
Description
The Ozark minnow is small and slender, with a prominent dusky stripe along the midline that extends forward past the eye. It is one of the most common minnows in the Ozark uplands.
Media
Topeka shiner female, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Notropis topeka
Description
Found in only a few Missouri streams, the Topeka shiner is an endangered native minnow that has declined dramatically because of environmental pollution, siltation, and loss or alteration of habitat.
Media
Sabine shiner side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Notropis sabinae
Description
In Missouri, the Sabine shiner is known only from a short stretch of the Black River in Butler County. This slender, silvery minnow has a bluntly rounded snout that projects slightly beyond the upper lip.
Media
Bleeding shiner male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Luxilus zonatus
Description
The bleeding shiner is restricted to the Ozarks. Males sport brilliant red during breeding season. Check your ID by noting the dark, crescent bar behind the gill cover and the dark stripe that abruptly narrows just behind the gill opening.
Media
Hornyhead chub female, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Nocomis biguttatus
Description
The hornyhead chub is a moderately large, slender minnow with a rather large, nearly horizontal mouth. Males commonly have bony projections on top of the head. Occurs in clear Ozark streams with permanent flow and clean gravel.
Media
Taillight shiner male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Notropis maculatus
Description
One of the rarest Missouri minnows, the taillight shiner is known only from a few localities in southeast Missouri, in habitats representing the last remnants of low-gradient streams and swamps once common in that region.
See Also
Media
Photo of a three-toed amphiuma in an aquarium.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amphiuma tridactylum
Description
The three-toed amphiuma is an eel-like, completely aquatic salamander. It has very small forelimbs and hind limbs, each with three tiny toes. In Missouri it’s found only in the Bootheel region.
Media
Photo of researcher holding a gilled siren
Species Types
Scientific Name
Siren intermedia nettingi
Description
The western lesser siren is an eel-like, aquatic salamander with external gills, small eyes, small forelimbs with four toes, and no hind limbs. In Missouri, it’s found mostly in the Bootheel and northward in counties near the Mississippi River.

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.