Ozark Minnow

Notropis nubilus


ozark minnow
Joseph R. Tomelleri. Used with permission.

Cyprinidae (minnows) in the order Cypriniformes (carps, minnows and loaches)


Small slender minnow with dark yellow-olive back and upper sides. Dark-edged scales. Lower sides are silvery with a prominent dusky stripe at midline that extends forward past the eye. Midline of back has a dusky stripe overlain with a series of golden spots that are visible when the fish is in the water.


Total length: 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 inches; maximum to about 3 inches.

Habitat and conservation

Most abundant in creeks and small rivers with gravelly or rocky bottoms and strong, permanent flow. Usually found in protected backwaters near riffles or in pools directly below riffles. Often seen in large schools with other common minnows such as bleeding, cardinal and duskystripe shiners.


Omnivorous, feeding mostly on plant material with some animal matter.

image of Ozark Minnow distribution map
Distribution in Missouri

One of the most common minnow species in the Ozark uplands.

Life cycle

3 years. Most active in daytime.