Latin name

Notropis atherinoides

Other names

Buckeye, shiner, lake shiner, lake emerald shiner, common emerald shiner; French: mémé émeraude.


The Emerald Shiner is a slender, elongated fish with a pale silvery slate body that is dull iridescent green on top and turns silvery or white on the belly. Juveniles appear translucent. The Emerald Shiner has a faint lateral stripe, a short and rather sharp snout, large eyes, and usually 11 rays on the anal fin. It has no spines. During spawning, males have very small tubercles on their fins; they have no mating coloration.


This species has a wide range from the St. Lawrence and Hudson River basins westward to the Mackenzie River drainage in the Northwest Territories and southward along the Great Lakes and Mississippi River drainages to the Gulf Coast from Texas to Alabama. It is the most abundant fish in the Mississippi River and other major rivers, and is also widely distributed in the Great Lakes and other major lakes.


Emerald Shiners move in large schools in mid- and near-surface areas. They roam large lakes and are often found in large river basins. They have been known to move vertically to the surface at night and to deep water during the day.


Emerald Shiners are typically 3-4 inches long and rarely grow to more than 5 inches. They typically live only 3 years.

Life history and Behavior

Spawning occurs when water temperatures reach about 75°F and can last a long time, from late spring to mid-summer in some areas. Unlike many other shiners, this species spawns in groups in mid-water. It is also prone to cyclical abundance.

Food and feeding habits

A pelagic species, emerald char feeds on plankton, zooplankton, blue-green algae, diatoms, and insect larvae.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Cypriniformes
Family Cyprinidae
Genus Notropis
Species N. atherinoides
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 5
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 12.7
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Planktonophage

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Shiner, Emerald

Tags: Shiner, Emerald