Photo courtesy of Konrad Schmidt
Carmine shiner - Common name
Notropispercobromus - Scientific name
Family - Cyprinidae (minnows)
Status : S2, G5
IDENTIFICATION:The carmine shiner is a slender minnow that reaches lengths of 3 inches (75 mm). It is olive-colored above the lateral line and silvery below. The dorsal fin origin is well behind the pelvic fin origin. The snout is pointed and is longer than the diameter of the eye. It has a black line above the silver line along its side. Breeding adults develop rosy to red coloration on their heads, bellies and fins.
SIMILAR SPECIES FOUND IN SOUTH DAKOTA: The carmine shiner is very similar to the emerald shiner , which is a commonly occurring species in South Dakota. Both fishes are slender Notropis species with their dorsal fin origin behind the pelvic fin origin. During breeding, the adult carmine shiner has a rosy coloration to parts of the head, belly and fins, whereas the emerald shiner does not have any such coloration. Outside of the breeding period, the two species look very similar. The emerald shiner has a shorter snout that is about equal to the diameter of the eye, and does not have a dark line above its lateral line .
HABITS AND HABITAT: The carmine shiner inhabits rocky runs and flowing pools of small to medium size rivers and medium to large size creeks. Carmine shiners feed mostly on plankton and occasionally on small insects at the water surface. They spawn in the spring.
DISTRIBUTION: Distribution Map The carmine shiner is widespread throughout most of the eastern United States as far south as Arkansas. Tributaries of the Minnesota River in eastern South Dakota form part of its western most range. Carmine shiners occur in Whetstone Creek in Grant County and in the North Fork of Whetstone Creek in Roberts County, as well as in the north and south forks of the Yellowbank River, also in Grant County. Carmine shiners were found in the Big Sioux River in 1956 in Lincoln County, however the species has not been found in the Big Sioux River in South Dakota since.
CAUSES OF CONCERN AND CONSERVATION MEASURES: Eastern South Dakota is at the western edge of this species range, where populations are found in a few tributaries to the Minnesota River. Because it occupies only a few streams in South Dakota, the species is rare in the state. Carmine shiners spawn in relatively warm, clear water and frequent shallow flowing water with clean rocky substrates. They may be limited to habitats that offer these conditions, and threatened by activities that alter the turbidity or flow.