Picture by Chad Thomas, Texas State University-San Marcos



Macrhybopsis storeriana

silver chub



Type Locality

Lake Erie (Kirtland 1844:71).


Etymology/Derivation of Scientific Name

Macrhybopsis, Greek, “long rounded face;” storeriana, named for D. H. Storer, an early student of North American fishes (Pflieger 1997).



Rutilus storerianus Kirtland 1844:7.

Hybopsis storerianus Cook 1959:131; Hubbard 1987:23; Mettee et al. 1987:87,1989:45; Nailon and Pennington 1897:86.

Macrhybopsis storeriana Boschung 1989:54



Maximum size: 231 mm (9.09 in) TL (Gilbert 1980).


Coloration: Pale grey-green dorsally, becoming silvery on sides and silvery white on belly. Iris of eye white-yellow. Faint dusky lateral stripe usually present. Caudal fin lightly pigmented, except the lower 3-4 rays, which are completely unpigmented. Peritonium silvery (Becker 1983).


Counts: Pharyngeal teeth 1, 4-4, 1; fewer than10 dorsal fin soft rays (Hubbs et al 1991); lateral scales 35-41

(usually 38-39); predorsal scale rows 14-16; anal fin soft rays 8 (rarely 7); pectoral fin soft rays 17 or 18; pelvic fin soft  rays 8 (Boschung and Mayden 2004).


Body shape: Slender, moderately compressed, flattened ventrally (Boschung and Mayden 2004).  Snout short, rounded (Ross 2001).


Mouth position: Inferior, horizontal (Ross 2001).


Morphology: Eye large, contained 4 or less times in head (Bailey 1951). Depth at occiput greater than width; maxillary barbel present; lateral line usually not decurved, either straight or with a broad arch; premaxillaries protractile; upper lip separated from skin of snout by a deep groove continuous across the midline. Distance from origin of anal fin to end of caudal peduncle contained two and one-half or fewer times in distance from tip of snout to origin of anal fin; dorsal and anal fins without spines (Hubbs et al 1991). Underside between pectoral and pelvic fins normally scaled. Gular area almost smooth, the sensory papillae minute (Bailey 1951). Adult males have large, uniserial tubercles on the dorsal surface of pectoral fin rays 2-10 (Etnier and Starnes 1993); head bears minute sensory buds, but not breeding tubercles (Cross 1967).


Distribution (Native and Introduced)

U.S. distribution: Wide spread from southern New York to the Red River drainages (Ross 2001).


Texas distribution: Species found in the Red River (Warren et al. 2000) and the lower Brazos River; Brazos River population is apparently disjunct from other populations of this species, which range through the Mississippi River Basin to Mobile Bay (Gilbert 1980; Hubbs et al. 1991).


[Additional literature noting collection of this species from Texas locations includes, but is not limited to the following: Brazos River (Winemiller et al. 2004); Lake Texoma (Gido et al. 2002); lower Brazos River (Li and Gelwick 2005); Bonn and Kemp (1952); Hubbs (1957).]


Abundance/Conservation status (Federal, State, Non-governmantal organizations)

Populations in southern drainages are currently stable (Warren et al. 2000).


Habitat Associations                                     

Macrohabitat: Mainly restricted to large, often silty rivers, where it may be common (Gilbert 1980; Kinney 1954); sometimes found in near the mouths of small streams (Kinney 1954).


Mesohabitat: Broad rivers with low gradient which flow through old mature valleys; ranging over substrata which vary from gravel to silt, but found more commonly over silt or mud bottom (Kinney 1954); collected in turbid water with very soft sand/silt substrate (Linam et al. 1994). Trautman (1981) states that this species, normally inhabiting pools, will move to riffle areas if siltation is heavy. Further, when large streams were very turbid or depositing unusually large amounts of silt, M. storeriana would temporarily migrate into clearer streams of higher gradients; when waters were very clear individuals moved into deep water.



Spawning season: Late spring or early summer, in Iowa (Starrett 1951). June and July, in Wisconsin (Becker 1983). In western Lake Erie, spawning began the second week of June in water temperature of 19°C (66° F), reached its peak during the last week of June and first week of July with water temperature at 23°C (73°F), and was completed by the middle of August (Kinney 1954). Kinney (1954) concluded that the species spawns at relatively high temperatures.


Spawning habitat: Lithopelagophils; rock and gravel spawners with pelagic free embryos. (Simon 1999).


Spawning behavior: No information at this time.


Fecundity: Number of eggs = 365 + 746.64 X ovary weight (g); in ovaries of 1-year class fish there were 10 eggs per centimeter, while those of the older year-classes were 9 eggs per centimeter; immature eggs light yellow; mature eggs orange (Kinney 1954).


Age at maturation: Kinney (1954) found most 1-year fish to be sexually mature.


Migration: In Lake Erie, there is a large shoreward migration in spring (Kinney 1954).


Growth and Population Structure: Average approximately 124 mm (4.88 in) SL after first year; 147mm (5.88 in) SL after second; 164 mm (6.46 in) SL after third (Kinney 1954).


Longevity: 3 years for males and 4 years for females (Kinney 1954).


Food habits: Planktivore/Invertivore (Simon 1999). During first year: small crustaceans (copepods and cladocerans) and midge larvae and pupae. Adult fish eat mayfly larvae, small mollusks, and crustaceans (cladocerans and amphipods). Majority of food items found in adults were mayflies (Kinney 1954). Davis and Miller (1967) classified this species in the group “mouth tasters,” characterized by large numbers of internal taste buds and enlarged vagal lobes.


Phylogeny and morphologically similar fishes

Macrhybopsis storeriana differs from the speckled chub (M. aestivalis), in lacking black flecks on the body and in having a higher lateral line scale count (38-40 versus 35-38), and its pharyngeal tooth count (1,4-4,1 versus 0,4-4,0; Ross 2001). The ghost shiner (Notropis buchanani), mimic shiner (N. volucellus),  cypress minnow (Hybognathus hayi), and plains minnow (H. nuchalis) are silvery minnows occupying large rivers and could be confused with M. storeriana; however, all lack a barbel in the corners of the mouth. M. storeriana differs from other members of the M. aestivalis complex by, lacking definite spotting, and smaller snout; (Boschung and Mayden 2004). M. storeriana juveniles are somewhat similar to the often sympatric the river shiner (N. blennius), the latter lacking a maxillary barbel (Etnier and Starnes 1993).


Host Records

Trematoda, Dactylogyrus texomensis (Hoffman 1967). Trematodes (3), cestodes (1), nematodes (1), and acanthocephalans (1) (Bangham and Hunter 1939).


Commercial or Environmental Importance

Regarded as excellent forage and bait fish for largemouth and smallmouth black bass (Jordan and Evermann 1937).



Bailey, R.M. 1951. A checklist of the fishes of Iowa, with keys for identification, pp. 187-283. In: Iowa Fish and Fishing. J.R. Harlan and E.B. Speaker (eds.). State. Conserv. Comm. of Iowa, Des Moines.

Bailey, C.R. 1980. Hybopsis storeriana (Kirtland), Silver chub. p.194 in: D.S. Lee, et al. Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. N.C. State Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh. 854 pp.

Bangham, R.V., and G.W. Hunter, III. 1939. Studies on fish parasites of Lake Erie. Distribution studies. Zoologica 24(4); pt.27:385-448.

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 1052 pp.

Bonn, E.W., and R.J. Kemp. 1952. Additional records of fresh-water fishes from Texas. Copeia 1952(3):204-205.

Boschung, H.T. 1989. Atlas of fishes of the upper Tombigbee River Drainage, Alabama-Mississippi . Proc. S.E. Fishes  council 19:1-104.

Boschung, H.T., Jr., and R.L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Books, Washington. 736 pp.

Cook, F.A. 1959. Freshwater fishes in Mississippi. Mississippi Game and Fish Commision, Jackson.

Cross, F.B. 1967. Handbook of Fishes of Kansas. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. Misc. Publ. 45. 357 pp.

Davis, B.J., and R.J. Miller. 1967. Brain patterns in minnows of the genus Hybopsis in relation to feeding habits and habitat. Coeia 1967(1):1-39.

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The Fishes of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 681 pp.

Gido, K.B., C.W. Hargrave, W.J. Matthews, G.D. Schnell, D.W. Pogue, and G.W. Sewell. 2002. Structure of littoral-zone fish communities in relation to habitat, physical, and chemical gradients in a southern reservoir. Environmental Biology of Fishes 63:253-263.

Hoffman, G.L. 1967. Parasites of North American Freshwater Fishes. University of California Press, Berkeley. 486 pp.

Hubbard, W.D. 1987. Distribution and diversity of fishes in the Noxubee River Drainage, Mississippi. J. Miss. Acad. Sci. 32:19-30.

Hubbs, C. 1957. Distributional patterns of Texas fresh-water fishes. The Southwestern Naturalist 2(2-3):89-104.

Hubbs, C., R. J. Edwards, G. P. Garrett. 1991. An annotated checklist to the freshwater fishes of Texas, with keys to the identification of species. The Texas Journal of Science, Supplement, 43(4):1-56.

Jordan, D.S. And B.W. Evermann. 1896-1900. The fishes of North and Middle America. Bull. U.S. Nat. Museum 47(1-4):1-3313.

Jordan, D.S. and S.E. Meek. 1885. List of fishes collected in Iowa and Missouri in August, 1884, with descriptions of three new species. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 8(1):1-17.

Kinney, E. C. 1954. A life history of the silver chub, Hybopsis storeriana (Kirtland), in western Lake Erie with notes on associated species. Diss. Abstr. 20(6): 19878-1980. vol 35. Part II. 30759.

Kirtland, J.P. 1844. Descriptions of Acipenser rubicundus, A. platyrhyncus, and Rutilus storerianus. Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 1:71.

Li, R.Y., and F.P. Gelwick. 2005. The relationship of environmental factors to spatial and temporal variation of fish assemblages in a floodplain river in Texas, USA. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2005(14):319-330.

Linam, G.W., J.C. Henson, and M.A. Webb. 1994. A fisheries inventory and assessment of Allens Creek and the Brazos River, Austin County, Texas. Report to the Texas Water Development Board. Texas Parks and Wildlife, Austin. 13 pp.

Mayden, R. L. 1989. Phylogenetic studies of North American minnows, with emphasis on the genus Cyprinella (Teleostei: Cypriniformes). University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Misc. Publ. (80): 1-189.

Mettee, M.F., P.E. O’Neil, R.D. Suttkus, and J.M Pierson. 1987. Fishes of the lower Tombigbee River system in Alabama and Mississippi. Geol. Surv. Ala. Bull. 107:1-186.

Nailon, R.W. and C.H. Pennington. 1987. Fishes of two dike pools during summer low flow. J. Miss. Acad. Sci. 32:79-90.

Pflieger, W. L. 1997. The Fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City. 372 pp.

Ross, S.T. 2001. Inland fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson. 1-624 pp.

Simon, T. P. 1999. Assessing the sustainability and biological integrity of water resources using fish communities. CRC Press. Boca Raton; London; New York; Washington. 671 pp.

Starrett, W. C. 1951. Some factors affecting the abundance of minnows in the Des Moines River, Iowa. Ecology 32(1):13-27.

Warren, M.L. Jr., B.M. Burr, S. J. Walsh, H.L. Bart Jr., R. C. Cashner, D.A. Etnier, B. J. Freeman, B.R. Kuhajda, R.L. Mayden, H. W. Robison, S.T. Ross, and W. C. Starnes. 2000. Diversity, distribution and conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States. Fisheries 25(10):7-29.

Winemiller, K.O., F.P. Gelwick, T. Bonner, S. Zueg, C. Williams. 2004. Response of oxbow lake biota to hydrologic exchanges with the Brazos River channel. Report to the Texas Water Development Board. Texas Agriculture Experiment Station and Texas State University, 59 pp.