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.

Notropis buchanani
Notropis buchanani
(Ghost Shiner)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Notropis buchanani Meek, 1896

Common name: Ghost Shiner

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Silvery or translucent with very little pigment; small mouth; compressed, relatively deep body; highly elevated anterior lateral line scales, and a long caudal peduncle. Breeding males become densely tuberculate on the top of the head, nape, and snout (Holm and Houston 1993). Becker (1983); Robison and Buchanan (1988); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Pflieger (1997).

Size: 6.4 cm

Native Range: Mississippi River basin from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to eastern Kansas, and western Oklahoma, and from Minnesota and Wisconsin south to northern Alabama and Louisiana; Gulf Slope drainages from Calcasieu River, Louisiana, to Rio Grande, Texas and Mexico (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; 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 Notropis buchanani are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
MI197920001Lake St. Clair
OH199719971Lake Erie

Table last updated 11/27/2021

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Notropis buchanani is commonly found in water less than 1 meter deep over substrates consisting of clay, silt, and detritus (Holm and Coker 1981). It is found near the confluence of large rivers or creeks where it inhabits quiet pools, eddies, or backwaters away from the current. Turbidity or siltation does not appear to limit the distribution of the Ghost Shiner, as it thrives both in areas of high and low turbidity (Holm and Houston 1993).

Means of Introduction: Probable bait bucket release.

Status: Reported from Ohio. Established in Michigan.

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: The Lake Erie species was identified by T. Cavender. According to Mills et al. (1993), a population of the Ghost Shiner Notropis buchanani was found in the Canadian portion of the Great Lakes drainage in 1979 in backwaters of the Thames River (a tributary of Lake St. Clair), Kent County, Ontario. That introduction was thought to have been the result of a bait bucket release. In an apparent error, Page and Burr (1991) listed New Brunswick as part of this species' range.

Voucher specimen: OSUM.

References: (click for full references)

Notropis buchanani, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 107(4): 440-445.

Clearwater, S.J., C.W. Hickey, and M.L. Martin. 2008. Overview of potential piscicides and molluscicides for controlling aquatic pest species in New Zealand. Science & Technical Publishing, New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.

Cudmore-Vokey, B., and E.J. Crossman. 2000. Checklists of the fish fauna of the Laurentian Great Lakes and their connecting channels. Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2500: v + 39 pp.

GLMRIS. 2012. Appendix C: Inventory of Available Controls for Aquatic Nuisance Species of Concern, Chicago Area Waterway System. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Holm, E., and G.A. Coker. 1981. First Canadian records of the ghost shiner (Notropis buchanani) and the orangespotted sunfish (Lepomis humilis). Canadian Field-Naturalist 95(2): 210-211.

FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L., G. Jacobs, J. Larson, T.H. Makled, and A. Fusaro

Revision Date: 9/12/2019

Peer Review Date: 8/2/2013

Citation Information:
Nico, L., G. Jacobs, J. Larson, T.H. Makled, and A. Fusaro, 2021, Notropis buchanani Meek, 1896: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=590, Revision Date: 9/12/2019, Peer Review Date: 8/2/2013, Access Date: 11/28/2021

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. [2021]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [11/28/2021].

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