New York Natural Heritage Program
Blacknose Shiner
Notropis heterolepis Eigenmann and Eigenmann, 1893
Ray-finned Fishes

General Description [-]
The blacknose shiner is a small minnow-sized fish that is greenish-grey in color. The have a black lateral strip starting on their nose and ending at the tail.

Identifying Characteristics [-]
The blacknose shiner is a small minnow-sized fish that is typically only 2-3 inches in length and greenish-grey in color. The have a white lower jaw and black lateral strip running from the tip of their snout to their tail. There is a light, narrow stripe of gold scales that appears above the black stripe. The scales on the back are edged in black.

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
The most useful identifying charateristics are the black stripe down the side that begins on the nose and the narrow stripe of gold scales that is present above it.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
Adults are easiest to identify.

Behavior [-]
Blacknose shiners are typically most active foraging in morning and at night (Roberts et al. 2006).

Diet [-]
Blacknose shiners feed on small aquatic invertebrates. Cladoceran water fleas (Chydoridae and Bosminidae) and ostracods (a very small crustacean) were the main components of their diet in one study in Illinois (Roberts 2006).
Blacknose Shiner Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
Blacknose shiners are more active during the warm months.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Active Reproducing
The time of year you would expect to find Blacknose Shiner active (blue shading) and reproducing (orange shading) in New York.
Similar Species
  • Blackchin Shiner (Notropis heterodon)
    The blacknose shiner appears similar to the blackchin shiner but has a smaller mouth and has an entirely white lower jaw, while the blackchin shiner has black on the tip of the lower jaw.