The Pugnose Shiner is a member of the minnow species, only reaching lengths of about 5-6 cm. They are silver with pale yellow or olive markings and a dark stripe along the sides of their body from snout to tail. They have pale, translucent fins and an upturned mouth.
Pugnose Shiners mainly feed on aquatic plants, green algae, plankton, small leeches, and some aquatic insects. They generally feed near the bottom amongst vegetation to stay hidden from predators.
Biology and Behaviour:
Since Pugnose Shiners are a relatively small and elusive species, little is known about their biology and behaviour. They do not travel very far in their lifetimes, so spawning generally occurs nearby in shallow water with dense vegetation. Spawning most likely happens from mid-May to July depending on water temperatures (they prefer 21-29°C). Females have between 500 and 1300 eggs, but all of them may not be laid or fertilized in one season. Like most fish species, females will lay their eggs amongst the vegetation and silt, and males will fertilize them. Pugnose Shiners are thought to reach sexual maturity at the age of 1 and live to a maximum age of 3. They will inhabit shallow waters during the spring and summer, and overwinter in deeper water. They have a wide range of predators like larger fish species and various bird species.
The Pugnose Shiner is very similar in appearance to all other Shiner species in Ontario. These species include the Blackchin Shiner, Blacknose Shiner, Bridle Shiner, Striped Shiner, and Common Shiner.
Conservation and recovery strategies:
The Pugnose Shiner and their habitat is protected in Ontario and efforts have been made to produce a recovery strategy. The goals of this strategy are to determine current and ideal population numbers, determine and protect current habitat, evaluate and minimize current threats, investigate whether Extirpated populations can be recovered, and improve public education and awareness.
Government of Ontario. 2014. Pugnose shiner. Retrieved from: https://www.ontario.ca/page/pugnose-shiner
COSEWIC. 2013. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Pugnose ShinerNotropis anogenus in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. x + 32 pp. https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/cosewic-assessments-status-reports/pugnose-shiner-2013.html#_01_2
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