The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Cyprinella spiloptera
Cyprinella spiloptera
(Spotfin Shiner)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Cyprinella spiloptera (Cope, 1867)

Common name: Spotfin Shiner

Synonyms and Other Names: silver-finned minnow, satin-finned minnow

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); commonly used name is Notropis spilopterus. Maximum size: 12 cm.

Native Range: Atlantic Slope from St. Lawrence drainage, Quebec, to Potomac River drainage, Virginia; Great Lakes (except Lake Superior), Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from Ontario and New York to southeastern North Dakota and south to Alabama and eastern Oklahoma; isolated populations in Ozarks (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Cyprinella spiloptera are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
IA198019975Blackbird-Soldier; Boyer; Keg-Weeping Water; Little Sioux; Upper Chariton
MO199719971Keg-Weeping Water
NE198020056Big Papillion-Mosquito; Blackbird-Soldier; Keg-Weeping Water; Lewis and Clark Lake; Nishnabotna; Tarkio-Wolf
SD199319931Lewis and Clark Lake
VA197320134Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock; Roanoke; South Fork Shenandoah; Upper Roanoke

Table last updated 6/14/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Means of Introduction: Spotfin Shiners have been stocked intentionally as a forage fish in Nebraska (Bouc 1987). It most likely entered Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, from the nearby New drainage, possibly transferred with white bass from Claytor Lake (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). The method of introduction into other areas has not been reported although introduction via bait bucket releases is a possibility in some areas.

Status: Established in parts of Nebraska (Bouc 1987; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.). Established and abundant in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia; reported from Sherando Lake, Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Reported, probably established, in Iowa outside its native range (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: This species has received limited use as a baitfish (Scott and Crossman 1973; Becker 1983; Harlan et al. 1987). This species may have spread via the Erie Canal (Gibbs 1963; Smith 1985).

References: (click for full references)

Hocutte, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the Fishes of the Central Appalachians and Central Atlantic Coastal Plain. In C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes. 161-212.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L.

Revision Date: 8/28/2019

Peer Review Date: 4/20/2010

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2024, Cyprinella spiloptera (Cope, 1867): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=520, Revision Date: 8/28/2019, Peer Review Date: 4/20/2010, Access Date: 6/14/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/14/2024].

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