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Topeka Shiner


  • Federally Endangered
  • Small, stout bodied, olive colored fish with light underside and a dark lateral stripe
  • Base of tail fin with a triangular/chevron shaped black spot
  • Scales above the lateral like outlined in black
  • Lateral line almost completely straight
  • Breeding males may appear bluish-green in color and display red-orange fins and belly
  • Similar Species include Sand Shiner, which have a mid-dorsal stripe expanded into wedge-shaped spot in front of dorsal fin but does not surround fin base, pigment on scales form a cross-hatch pattern, and lateral line is de-curved
  • Diet: Plants and small invertebrates
  • Habitat: Prefer small streams with groundwater input, backwater areas, pools and dugouts with sand or gravely substrates
  • Distribution: Eastern South Dakota, within tributaries to the James, Vermillion and Big Sioux River drainages
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