Cyprinella venusta 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae

Scientific Name: Cyprinella venusta Girard, 1856
Common Name(s):
English Blacktail Shiner
Taxonomic Notes: Kristmundsdottir and Gold (1996) used mtDNA restriction site analysis to study systematics and biogeography and identified four major mtDNA-based phylogeographic clades: Chocktawatchee, Apalachicola, Mobile, and Western (four lineages, Texas to Mississippi). They found that mtDNA phylogeographic subdivision within C. venusta is not strictly concordant with geographic subdivisions (ranges) of the three nominal subspecies (venusta, cercostigma, and stigmatura). Taxonomic revision may be warranted, but further study is needed. This species was removed from the genus Notropis and placed in the genus (formerly subgenus) Cyprinella by Mayden (1989). This change was adopted in the 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991). See Mayden (1989) for synonymy.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-11-17
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations, large population size, apparently stable trend, and lack of major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The range extends from the Rio Grande basin, Texas, to the Suwannee River drainage, Florida and Georgia, and extends north in the Mississippi River basin to southern Oklahoma, southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and western and southern Tennessee; introduced in the Sac River (Missouri River drainage), Missouri (Lee et al. 1980, Page and Burr 2011).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences (subpopulations) (e.g., see map in Lee et al. 1980). It is one of the most ubiquitous minnows in Alabama (Boschung and Mayden 2004).

Adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000 and presumably exceeds 1,000,000. This is one of the most abundant minnows in Alabama (Boschung and Mayden 2004), Louisiana, and Texas (Lee et al. 1980).

In Louisiana, after the 1960s and early 1970s, blacktail shiners disappeared from several locations and abundance declined in other sites coincident with a range expansion and abundance increase in Cyprinella lutrensis (Douglas and Jordan 2002).

Extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably are relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Custom (N)

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This fish is most common in pools and runs of clear, sandy-bottomed, small to medium rivers, typically in areas with sparse vegetation and strong current, but upland populations occur in creeks over substrates with more gravel and rubble (Lee et al. 1980, Page and Burr 2011). Populations in the western part of the range are often in turbid water. Eggs are deposited in crevices.
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overall, this species faces no major threats. In Louisiana, habitat changes associated with flood control projects (e.g., channelization) apparently led to increases in C. lutrensis populations and declines and extirpations of C. venusta populations (Douglas and Jordan 2002).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%)   

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%)   

Bibliography [top]

Boschung, H.T. and Mayden, R.L. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Burr, B.M. and Warren, M.L. Jr. 1986. A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission.

Douglas, N.H. 1974. Freshwater fishes of Louisiana. Claitor's Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Douglas, N.H. and Jordan, R.J. 2002. Louisiana's inland fishes: a quarter century of change. Southeastern Fishes Council Proceedings: 40553.

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

Heins, D.C. and Dorsett, D.R. 1986. Reproductive traits of the blacktail shiner, NOTROPIS VENUSTUS (Girard) in southern Mississippi. Southwest Naturalist 31: 185-189.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Kristmundsdottir, A.Y. and Gold, J.R. 1996. Systematics of the blacktail shiner (Cyprinella venusta) inferred from analysis of mitochondrial DNA. Copeia 1996(4): 773-783.

Lee, D.S., Gilbert, C.R., Hocutt, C.H., Jenkins, R.E., McAllister, D.E. and Stauffer, J.R. Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina.

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

Mettee, M.F., O'Neil, P.E. and Pierson, J.M. 1996. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Oxmoor House, Birmingham, Alabama.

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

Nelson, J.S., Crossman, E.J., Espinosa-Perez, H., Findley, L.T., Gilbert, C.R., Lea, R.N. and Williams, J.D. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts.

Pflieger, W.L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Columbia, Missouri.

Pflieger, W.L. 1997. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri.

Robins, C.R., Bailey, R.M., Bond, C.E., Brooker, J.R., Lachner, E.A., Lea, R.N. and Scott, W.B. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society.

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

Ross, S.T. and Brenneman, W.M. 1991. Distribution of freshwater fishes in Mississippi. Freshwater Fisheries Report No. 108. D-J Project Completion Report F-69. Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Parks, Jackson, Mississippi.

Smith, P.W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois.

Straight, C.A., Albanese, B. and Freeman, B.J. 2009. Fishes of Georgia Website. Available at: (Accessed: Accessed May 2010).

Citation: NatureServe. 2013. Cyprinella venusta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T184097A15361441. . Downloaded on 24 April 2018.
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