Picture by Chad Thomas, Texas State University-San Marcos



Notropis shumardi

silverband shiner



Type Locality

Arkansas River, near Fort Smith, Arkansas (Girard 1856).


Etymology/Derivation of Scientific Name

Notropis, Greek, “back keel;” (Pflieger 1997). shumardi = patronym for George C. Shumard, naturalist on the Mexican Boundary Survey (Etnier and Starnes 1993), in honor of Shumard, who accompanied Girard on the boundary and railroad surveys (Ross 2001).



Notropis illecebrosus (Girard 1856).

Notropis brazosenis (Hubbs and Bonham 1951).

Notropis shumardi (Gilbert and Bailey 1962).


Gilbert and Bailey (1962) replaced illecebrosus with shumardi and synonymized N. brazosensis (Hubbs and Bonham 1951) under N. shumardi.  They considered uniqueness of N. brazosensis (i.e., having 8 instead of 9 anal fin rays and distinctive mouth and pharyngeal arch) as a morphological variant within N. shumardi.  However, “N. brazosensis” represents a unique lineage, long separated from the Mississippi River drainage population, including Texas populations in the Red River and Cypress River drainage.  Issue of “species” will not be resolved until genetics analyses are completed.



Maximum size: Up to 103 mm (4.06 in).


Life colors: Straw color with broad silvery lateral band.  Dorsal scales lightly outlined with black pigments. Upper and lower lips with dark pigment (Robison and Buchanan 1988).  Breeding males without special coloration (Pflieger 1997). Peritoneum silvery (Goldstein and Simon 1999).


Pharyngeal teeth count: 2, 4-4,2 or 1,4-4,1 (Hubbs et al. 1991); three upper teeth of inner row noticeably hooked (Ross 2001).


Counts: 34-37 lateral line scales; 8-9 anal fin soft rays (Miller and Robison 2004); Texas populations commonly having eight anal fin soft rays (Gilbert and Bailey 1962).


Body shape: Robust body shape, moderately deep; slab-sided fish (Robison and Buchanan 1988); snout is short and rounded and the eye large (3.2-3.4 times into head length; Miller and Robison 2004).


Mouth position: Terminal and oblique.  Upper jaw level with mid-eye (Robison and Buchanan 1988). The lower jaw slightly included (Douglas 1974)


Morphology: Dorsal origin just above the pelvic insertion; high pointed dorsal fin with anterior rays about as long as the head (Miller and Robison 2004). Slightly decurved lateral line; pectoral fin rounded.  Breeding males very small tubercles on head and pectoral fin rays (Pflieger 1997).  Larvae exhibit well-defined mid-ventral stripe by 4.6 mm TL (Fuiman et al. 1983).

Gut short (Goldstein and Simon 1999).


Distribution (Native and Introduced)

U.S. distribution:  Mississippi River drainage, ranges from South Dakota to Louisiana.  Southern most distribution Lavaca Bay, Texas (Gilbert and Bailey 1962); in Tennessee, species common in main channel of the Mississippi River (Etnier and Starnes 1993); mainstream Missouri River in Kansas (Platt 1974); remains common around Fort Smith, AR (Robison and Buchanan 1988).


Texas distribution:  N. shumardi found in Red River and Cypress River drainage; “N. brazosensis” found from Lavaca River drainage to Trinity River drainage (Gilbert and Bailey 1962; Gilbert 1980). Warren et al. (2000) listed the following drainage units for distribution of Notropis shumardi in the state: Red River (from the mouth upstream to and including the Kiamichi River), Sabine Lake (including minor coastal drainages west to Galveston Bay), Galveston Bay (including minor coastal drainages west to mouth of Brazos River), Brazos River, and Colorado River.


[Additional literature noting collection of this species from Texas locations includes, but is not limited to the following: Jurgens (1954); Oyster Creek (Linam and Kleinsasser 1987); Gelwick and Burgess (2002).]


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

Currently secure (Platt 1974, Robison and Buchanan 1988, Etnier and Starnes 1993; Warren et al. 2000).  However, evidence of population declines in the lower Brazos River (D. T. Runyan and T. H. Bonner, unpublished data). According to Haslouer et al. (2005), little evidence exists that this species currently sustains reproductively viable populations in Kansas; current status is Threatened in the state; Endangered status has been proposed.


Habitat Associations

Macrohabitat: Large rivers, but often found in smaller tributaries and oxbows (Gilbert 1980; Linam et al. 1994; Winemiller et al. 2004; Li and Gelwick 2005).  Common in oxbow lakes that frequently reconnect to Brazos River mainstem (Zeug, et al. 2005).


Mesohabitat: Main channel with moderate to swift current velocities and moderate to deep depths; associated with turbid water over silt, sand, and gravel (Gilbert 1980, Robison and Buchanan 1988, Cross 1995); N. shumardi is tolerant of high turbidities (Gilbert and Bailey 1962). Li (2003) reported that the species was commonly collected in shallow river-margin samples during the summer and winter, in the lower Brazos River.



Spawning season:  Occurs late May through mid August (Suttkus 1980; Miller and Robison 2004). In Texas, breeding season may occur from late-May or early May until the mid-fall (Edwards 1997).


Spawning location: Main channel, breeding aggregations were observed over hard sand to fine gravel substrates in water 1-2 m deep in strong current (Conner 1977).


Reproductive strategy: Likely broadcast spawning;


Fecundity: No information at this time.


Age at maturation: Likely age 1 (Edwards 1997).


Migration: Might migrate into tributaries for spawning, especially during high flow in Brazos River mainstem (Winemiller 2004).


Growth and population structure: No information at this time.


Longevity:  Edwards (1997) reported maximum lifespan of approximately 2 years.


Food habits: No information at this time.


Phylogeny and morphologically similar fishes

Subgenus Alburnops along with chub shiner (N. potteri) and river shiner (N. blennius)(Schonhuth and Doadrio 2003; Snelson 1968) instead of subgenus Notropis (Bielawski and Gold 2001).  N. shumardi is superficially similar to the deeper-bodied form of emerald shiner (N. atherinoides) but has the dorsal origin just above the pelvic insertion rather than far behind it (Miller and Robison 2004).


Host Records

Gyrodactylus illigatus (Harris et al. 2004). Dactylogyrus argenteus and D. ornatus (Mizelle and McDougal 1970).


Commercial or Environmental Importance

In Kansas, most sandbar habitat occupied by this species has been eliminated by extensive modification of the Missouri River for navigational purposes (Cross and Collins 1995; Haslouer et al. 2005).



Bielawski, J.P., and J.R. Gold. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships of Cyprinid fishes in subgenus Notropis inferred from Nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrially encoded cytochrome b gene. Copeia 2001(3):656-667.

Conner, J.V. 1977. Zoogeography of freshwater fishes in western Gulf Slope drainages between the Mississippi and the Rio Grande. Doctoral dissertation. Tulane University.

Cross, F.B. and J.T. Collins. 1995. Fishes in Kansas. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence. 357pp.

Douglas, N.H. 1974. Freshwater Fishes of Louisiana. Claitor’s Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 443 pp.

Edwards, R.J. 1997. Ecological profiles for selected stream-dwelling Texas freshwater fishes. Report to the Texas Water Development Board. 89 pp.

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

Fuiman, L.A., J.V. Conner, B.F. Lathrop, G.L. Buynak, D.E. Snyder, and J.J. Loos. 1983. State of the art identification for cyprinid fish larvae from Eastern North America. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 112:319-332.

Gelwick, F.P., and C.C. Burgess. 2002. Aquatic studies at the proposed George Parkhouse I reservoir site on the South Sulphur River in northeast Texas. Report to the Texas Water Development Board. 114 pp.

Gilbert, C.R. 1980. Notropis shumardi (Girard), Silverband shiner. Pp.308 in D. S. Lee, et al. Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. N.C. State Mus. Nat. Hist., Raliegh, i-r+854pp.

Gilbert, C.R. and R.M. Bailey. 1962. Synonomy, Characters, and Distribution of the American Cyprinid Fish Notropis shumardi. Copeia 1962(4):807-819.

Girard, C.F. 1856. Researches upon the Cyprinoid fishes inhabiting the fresh waters of the United States of America, west of the Mississippi Valley, from specimens in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 8:165-213.

Goldstein, R.M., and T.P. Simon. 1999. Toward a united definition of guild structure for feeding ecology of North American freshwater fishes. pp. 123-202 in T.P. Simon, editor. Assessing the sustainability and biological integrity of water resources using fish communities. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. 671 pp.

Harris, P.D. 2004. Nominal species of the genus Gyrodactylus von Nordmann 1832 (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae), with a list of principal host species. Systematic Parisitology 59:1-27.

Haslouer, S.G., M.E. Eberle, D.R. Edds, K.B. Gido, C.S. Mammoliti, J.R. Triplett, J.T. Collins, D.A. Distler, D.G. Huggins, and W.J. Stark. 2005. Current status of native fish species in Kansas. Trans. of the Kansas Academy of Science 108(1/2):32-46.

Hubbs, C.L. and K. Bonham. 1951. New Cyprinid Fishes of the Genus Notropis from Texas. The Texas Journal of Science. 1951(1):91-110.

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

Jurgens, K.C. 1954. Records of Four Cyprinid Fishes of the Genera Notropis and Semotilus from Central Texas. Copeia. 1954(2):155-156.

Li, R.Y. 2003. The influence of environmental factors on spatial and temporal variation of fish assemblages in the lower Brazos River, Texas. M.S. Thesis, Texas A&M University, College Station. 71 pp.

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 14(4):319-330.

Linam, G.W., and L.J. Kleinsasser. 1987. Fisheries use attainability study for Oyster Creek (Segment 1110). River Studies Report No. 3. Resource Protection Agency, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Austin. 15 pp.

Linam, G.W., J.C. Henson, M.A. Webb. 1994. A Fisheries Inventory and Assessment of Allens Creek and the Brazos River, Austin County, Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to Texas Water Development Board.

Miller, R.J., and H.W. Robison. 2004. Fishes of Oklahoma. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 450 pp.

Mizelle, J.D. and H.D. McDougal. 1970. Studies on Monogenetic Trematodes .XLV. The Genus Dactylogyrus in North America. Key to Species, Host-Parasite and Parasite-Host Lists, Localities, Emendations, and Description of D. Kritskyi sp. n. American Midland Naturalist 84(2):444-462.

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

Platt, D.R. 1974. Rare, endangered and extirpated species in Kansas. I. Fishes. Transactions Kansas Academy of Science 76(2):97-106.

Robison, H.W. and T.N. Buchanan. 1988. Fishes of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville. 536pp.

Ross, S.T. 2001. The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson. 624pp.

Schonhuth, S., and I. Doadrio. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships of Mexican minnows of the genus Notropis (Actinopterygii, Cyprinidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2003(80):323-337.

Snelson, F.F., Jr. 1968. Systematics of the Cyprinid Fish Notropis amoenus, with Comments on the Subgenus Notropis. Copeia. 1968(4):776-802.

Suttkus, R.D. 1980. Notropis candidus, a new cyprinid fish from the Mobile Bay basin, and a review of the nomenclatural history of Notropis shumardi (Girard). Bulletin Alabama Museum Natural History 5:1-15.

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, and C.Williams. 2004. Response of Oxbow Lake Biota to Hydrologic Exchanges with the Brazos River Channel. Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and Texas State University, Report to Texas Water Development Board.

Zeug, S.C., K.O. Winemiller, and S. Tarim. 2005. Response of Brazos River Oxbow Fish Assemblages to Patterns of Hydrologic Connectivity and Environmental Variability. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 134:1389-1399.