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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

21 Fin-tastic Facts About The Silver Shiner For Kids

Silver shiner facts are fun to know.

If you like reading about different types of fish, then give this article on the silver shiner a read.

The silver shiner (scientific name: Notropis photogenis) is a minnow whose primary site of occurrence is in North America in the USA and in small numbers, in Canada. Their habitat range also includes the east-central United States through the Tenessee and Ohio river drainage basins. In Canada, they are found in southern Ontario, in the watersheds of the River Grand and the Thames. Their preferred habitat choices are large and deep streams and rivers with swift currents. They do not like areas of submerged vegetation and search for warmer waters for breeding. They search for small aquatic animals and insects mainly on the surface of the water and sometimes jump out of the water to catch insects.  These slender minnows have a silvery body with blue or gold or green iridescence with mostly transparent or white fin rays except for the dorsal fin and caudal fin. The dorsal fin rays and caudal fin rays stand out in these animals as they are lined with black margins. They also have a dark stripe down the middle of their back and a long snout. The snout has two black crescents between its nostrils and their lateral line has spots around each pore.

If you find this interesting, keep reading to find some more cools facts about this minnow, and if you like this article, do check out the spiny dogfish and the catfish.

Silver Shiner Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a silver shiner?

The silver shiner, Notropis photogenis, is a fish of the Leuciscidae family.

What class of animal does a silver shiner belong to?

The silver shiner belongs to the class Actinopterygii of the animal kingdom.

How many silver shiners are there in the world?

There is no accurate data to assess the global status (in terms of numbers) of these fishes currently inhabiting different regions. However, it can be said with confidence that their current global population status is stable and mostly increasing.

Where does a silver shiner live?

The silver shiner (Notropis photogenis) is mainly native to North America and is spotted across the east-central regions of the USA. A large number of these fishes are found from Michigan and Indiana east to New York and also south to Georgia. Their distribution in Canada is restricted to southern Ontario, a large number of them found in the watersheds of the River Grand and Thames. Besides the species is also spotted in the Erie, Ontario, and St. Claire Lakes.  

What is a silver shiner's habitat?

The silver shiner species prefer habitat ranges like moderate to large, clear streams which have swift currents. They have a fairly wide distribution in deep swift riffles and fast currents of pools below these riffles. They search for ideal habitat conditions which include moderate to high gradient, absence of weeds, and streams with clean gravel, pebble, sand, or boulder bottoms. They avoid streams with submerged vegetation and prefer waters with a high temperature in spring.

Who does the silver shiner live with?

These silvery fishes generally appear in groups or schools.

How long does a silver shiner live?

Silver shiners live up to a maximum of three years. This minnow mainly grows in the first year and reaches sexual maturity in the second year. Check out the fatheaded minnow for more fun facts!

How do they reproduce?

These silver shiners, or Notropis photogenis, reach sexual maturity by their second year. Once they are mature, sexual activities are noticed around May-June in the Ontario range. Breeding activities take place in riffles or flowing pools of streams over a period of about two weeks and require a water temperature range of 64.4-73.4°F (18-23°C). Although not much information is available on breeding sites in water, some upstream movement has been noticed in this species. They lay yellow, pink, or orange eggs which have a diameter of 0.04 in (1.1 mm).

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List has enlisted this species under the Least Concern status. They have a stable global population at present with a large number of adults and many subpopulations and locations.

Silver Shiner Fun Facts

What do silver shiners look like?

The silver shiner has 36-41 lateral line scales.
*Please note that this image is of a rainbow shiner, not a silver shiner. If you have an image of a silver shiner, please let us know at [email protected]

A member of the carp family, the silver shiner, Notropis photogenis, is a minnow that prefers streams and rivers with riffles and strong currents. It is slender and has an average length of 2.24-4.33 in (5.7-11 cm). Their silvery body has bluish-green iridescence and a mid-flank stripe. The species has a green or blue back with silver or blue overlain. They have a white or silver belly and the middorsal line is well defined. The fins are mostly clear or white but the dorsal fin rays and caudal fin rays have black margins and they have up to 12 branched fin rays. They also have a long snout with two black crescents between the nostrils.

How cute are they?

Silver shiners are marine animals that prefer streams with moderate to high gradients. These tiny silver fishes can be considered cute like clownfish by some people.

How do they communicate?

There is not much evidence to show how silver shiners communicate. However, since they are fishes, it would not be wrong to assume that they use similar mechanisms to most fishes to communicate. Since they stay in groups or schools, it is believed that they communicate through body language or gestures. Besides, they also use sight, smell, and electric impulses in water to communicate with others members of the family or avoid potential predators.

How big is a silver shiner?

The silver shiner ranges between 2.3-4.3 in (5.7-11 cm) in length.

They are almost twice the length of the white cloud mountain minnow, which are related to the same carp family and range an average of 1.5 in (3.81 cm) in length.

How fast can a silver shiner move?

This deep stream or river minnow's preferred habitat choices are clear waters with high currents. So they have to most fast in these swift streams and rivers, however, their exact speed is not calibrated.

How much does a silver shiner weigh?

The exact weight of this species is yet unknown. It is a medium to small-sized minnow living mainly in the United States.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Notropis photogenis fish (silver shiners) do not have distinct names for the males and females of the species.

What would you call a baby silver shiner?

A baby silver shiner fish does not have a distinct name.

What do they eat?

Silver shiners, Notropis photogenis, feed on aquatic animals and insects. These surface feeders eat crustaceans, surface insects, algae, water mites, and flatworms. They often jump from water in search of insects flying in the air.

Are they poisonous?

The silver shiner, Notropis photogenis, is not known to be a poisonous species.

Would they make a good pet?

Silver shiners are a species of marine animals whose preferred habitat is clear waters with swift currents. This small fish can be a good pet as it is non-poisonous and causes no harm to humans. They can easily be kept as pets if they are well taken care of.

Did you know...

The Notropis photogenis fish (silver shiner) are deep stream swimmers which occur in moderate to large streams with a depth of approximately 3.6 ft (110 cm).

Do they bite?

There are no known instances of the silver shiner biting humans. Of course, they do bite their prey.

Do humans eat them?

There are no records of humans eating silver shiners.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our swai fish facts and skate fish facts pages.  

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable silver shiner coloring pages.

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