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#1 FishyJackson

  • NANFA Guest
  • Long Island

Posted 19 April 2020 - 03:49 PM

Got some more cold case fish ID action bros lol another overlooked fish I had caught, this was from my trip to Buffalo last year (same spot I caught the misidentified Emerald Shiner).  I had 2 videos of this fish in the ID tank, one was shared with a Rainbow Darter, and I think I thought that I thoguht both vids were just of a Rainbow DArter which I didnt need to ID, so I guess that's why I didnt play these videos when I was going back through pics last time.  I only noticed today because I decided to go back through the Darter pics/vids from that trip to see if maybe I caught a different Darter without realizing.  


I think it's a Mimic Shiner.  With the blunt/roundish snout, really only other fish I think it could be is that mischievous Hudsonius, which is always out there causing ID problems.  Can anyone tell from these pics?  


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#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 21 April 2020 - 12:21 AM

I agree. I am not great at distinguishing sand vs. mimic shiners, but your fish looks to have lateral line scales that are taller than wide.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#3 FishyJackson

  • NANFA Guest
  • Long Island

Posted 21 April 2020 - 08:07 AM

thanks for input Matt.  I realized after posting that it was really between Sand and Mimic, and yesterday afternoon I was around 90% confident in the Mimic verdict (elevated anterior lateral line scales and doesnt seem to have prominent stripe on it's back).  Pic of it's back below


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But confidence dipped under 80% last night after finding a somewhat decent pic of the anal fin.  I don't have any actual good pics of the anal fins to get a good count, but this pic below is best I have and it looks like 7 anal fin rays (Sand Shiner has 7, Mimic 8).  I'm seeing 6 branched rays, I drew an arrow pointing at last branched ray which is very hard to see, and a little line over each obvious branched ray.  Perhaps the front of it is just too blurry and there could be an additional branched ray at the front?


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Then I started questioning whether I'm actually seeing elevated lateral line scales or not lol I dont know if I'm looking at that correctly.  Looking at pics of these fish on the internet was hurting my brain.  Seems to always vary a bit.  I stumbled into a report about how some scientists think Mimic Shiners could be separated into multiple full species.  The different populations across the country have a lot of variations.  So some descriptions out there may not be totally accurate for the New York form of this fish.  

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#4 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 21 April 2020 - 11:41 AM

I would be inclined to call that a sand shiner based mostly on anal ray count.  Never 100% confident with these though.


Mimic shiners are appropriately named.  There’s lots of regional variants that have not been fully evaluated.   The ones in NY may very well be different than the ones we see here in KY.

#5 FishyJackson

  • NANFA Guest
  • Long Island

Posted 21 April 2020 - 02:07 PM

tthanks Jason.  Man this is a rough one lol


So essentially what appears to be a lack of a prominent pre-dorsal stripe seemingly excludes Striped Shiner.  Yet, what appears to be 7 anal fin rays seemingly excludes Mimic Shiner.


This likely has to be decided by the elevation levels of the lateral line scales.  Surely a Nanfa Minnow Wizard could determine if those scales meet the elevation threshold of the Mimic right?


Last resort is putting 1 of each species in a bucket and letting them fight to the death.  One way or another this will be ID'd

#6 FishyJackson

  • NANFA Guest
  • Long Island

Posted 21 April 2020 - 02:50 PM

meant to write exclude Sand Shiner above, not exclude Striped Shiner.  But we can certainly exclude that as well

#7 FishyJackson

  • NANFA Guest
  • Long Island

Posted 24 April 2020 - 09:31 AM

I harken back to the Golden Age of NANFA ID Work, feel like this ID would have been light work for the forum. 


Alas, we can rest easier now bros...the Fishy Wonder has dug deep for this one and the addition of new evidence just might have cracked this case. 


There was a second or 2 of footage of the bottom side of the fish in the video.  Shows clear evidence of pigment around the anal fin base and a line of pigment going from there to the tail.  Midventral pigmentations for the win here.  Saw that in multiple descriptions of Mimic Shiner.


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So in the end, the seemingly 7 anal fin rays must be an illusion.  The front of the fin is blurry, must be an additional branched ray there.  Or another small branched ray squeezed into the back.  Either way, too many factors in favor of Mimic here.  (elevated lateral line scales, midventral pigment stripe, very faint/not prominent middorsal stripe, midlateral stripe way more prominent toward the tail, fades dorsally)








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