Field Guide

Fishes

Showing 1 - 10 of 12 results
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
Creek chub male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Semotilus atromaculatus
Description
The creek chub is a slender, fine-scaled minnow with a black blotch at front of the dorsal fin and a black spot at the base of the tail fin. It is found nearly statewide and is most abundant in small headwater creeks.
Media
Duskystripe shiner male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Luxilus pilsbryi
Description
In our state, the duskystripe shiner is only found in the White River system of southwest and south-central Missouri. It prefers swift, clear headwater streams. The dark stripe along the side extends from nose to tail with a lighter-colored band above it.
Media
Goldfish side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Carassius auratus
Description
Goldfish are not native to North America. They often escape into the wild from bait buckets and other causes, but there are few self-sustaining populations in Missouri.
Media
Southern redbelly dace male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Notropis, Cyprinella, Hybognathus, Luxilus, and others
Description
Minnows — including shiners, chubs, stonerollers, dace, and carp — are members of the minnow family, the Cyprinidae. It is the largest of all fish families, and Missouri has about 70 species.
Media
Ozark cavefish side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amblyopsis rosae
Description
The Ozark cavefish is small, colorless, and blind. It lives only in springs, cave streams, and underground waters. It has been declared Endangered in our state and as Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Media
Red shiner side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cyprinella lutrensis
Description
The most abundant and widely distributed minnow in the prairie region of north and west Missouri, the red shiner inhabits a variety of habitats, from riffles to quiet pools.
Media
River redhorse side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Moxostoma carinatum
Description
The river redhorse occurs throughout the Ozarks but is seldom common. It inhabits pools of clear, medium-sized to large streams with gravelly or rocky bottoms and continuous strong flow.
Media
Shorthead redhorse side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Moxostoma macrolepidotum
Description
The shorthead redhorse is the most widely distributed redhorse sucker in Missouri, occurring nearly statewide. No other Missouri redhorse is as adaptable in its habitat requirements. Many specimens have a pea-shaped swelling on the upper lip.
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.
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 fore- and hind limbs, each with three very small 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 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.