Latin name

Hiodon tergisus

Other names

Amphiodon Rafinesque, Clodalus Rafinesque, Elattonistius Gill & Jordan, Eohiodon Cavender, Glossodon Rafinesque.


The Mooneye is a small fish with a compressed body that is deep in proportion to its length and covered with large, loose scales. Dark blue or blue-green on the back, it is silvery on the sides and tapers to white on the belly. It has a small head and a short, blunt, rounded snout with a small terminal mouth containing many sharp teeth on the jaw and tongue. The color of the eyes and the position of the anal fin distinguish it from the golden eye. The iris of the large eyes is silvery (as opposed to the golden iris of the goldeye). The dorsal fin of the mooneye begins in front of the anal fin (in the goldeye it begins opposite or behind the anal fin). Mooneye can be distinguished from gizzard shad by the absence of a radial dorsal fin projection.


Endemic to North America, mooneye are found in the Great Lakes of St. Lawrence (except Lake Superior), the Mississippi River drainage, and the Hudson Bay basin from Quebec to Alberta and south to the Gulf of Mexico. Mooneye are also found in waters along the Gulf Coast from Mobile Bay, Alabama to Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana.


Mooneye inhabit the deep, warm, silty sections of medium and large rivers, the backwaters of shallow lakes, and the reservoirs connected to them.


Mooneye are slightly larger on average than goldeye, often reaching 2 pounds, although their maximum size is not well known. They can live for at least 10 years.

Life history and Behavior

Mooneye spawn in the spring by migrating up the tributaries of rivers or streams.

Food and feeding habits

This species feeds on plankton, insects and small fish. Small mooneye are preyed upon by large predators such as pike, northern pike, catfish, and salmon.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Hiodontiformes
Family Hiodontidae
Genus Hiodon
Conservation status No information
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 10
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 52
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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