Share your observations

Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory

Rare animals
Find rare and non-game animals.
Rare plants
Learn about plants on the Natural Heritage Working List.
Rare lichens
Discover Wisconsin's lichens.
Natural communities
Explore Wisconsin's natural communities.
Other features
Discover unique resources.
Eagle license plate

Help care for rare plants and animals by ordering an Endangered Resources plate.

Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare vertebrate animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
For information on Wisconsin's rare invertebrates, contact:
Jay Watson
Conservation Biologist

Striped Shiner (Luxilus chrysocephalus)



Striped Shiner (Luxilus chrysocephalus), listed as Endangered in Wisconsin, has not been recorded in the state since 1996, despite surveys. Historically, this species preferred clear to slightly turbid waters of runs and shallow pools of the lower Milwaukee River, with dense aquatic vegetation over substrates of cobble, boulders, silt, sand, mud or bedrock.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Striped Shiner (Luxilus chrysocephalus). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Luxilus chrysocephalus in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankSH
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

Note: a species guidance document is not available at this time. Information below was compiled from publication ER-091.

Identification: Striped shiners are very similar to and difficult to distinguish from common shiners, with which they have almost always co-occurred and hybridized with in Wisconsin. Hybridization between these two species may have occurred even 100 years ago. Striped shiners differ in having larger predorsal scales (fewer than 17), heavily pigmented tip of chin and numerous parallel dark lines on the sides converging at the mid-back rather than a mid-dorsal stripe and one or two lateral dark stripes. Green or blue olive dorsally, sides blue silver, belly white silver. Prominent mid-dorsal, broad and slate colored stripe. Adult length: 2-4 inches (58-102mm).

Habitat: Clear to slightly turbid (cloudy) waters, 0.3-4.8 feet (0.1-1.5m) over gravel, rubble, boulders, silt or sand. Often seen in dense aquatic vegetation. Sometimes present in large schools at the foot of riffles and shallow, hard-bottomed pools with some flow.

State Distribution: Historically found in eastern-half of Wisconsin with the largest concentrations of records from Fox River watershed (Winnebago County) and the lower Milwaukee River. In the mid-1990s all of the known locations were re-surveyed and only one individual in the lower Milwaukee River was found. Subsequent surveys of the Milwaukee River site in the 2000s did not relocate any individuals. Additional targeted surveys are needed to determine if the species has become extirpated from the state.

Phenology: Striped shiners spawn over pebble mound nests of hornyhead chub or in the gravel crevice or crater-like nests made by males or by other species, like the creek chub, central or largescale stoneroller. Spawning occurs from mid-late May through mid-late June. A spawning group is dominated by a large breeding male who keeps any invading fish away from his school of mature females.

Diet: The type of food eaten depends on seasonal abundance of aquatic insects, algae and other plant material.

Management Guidelines: The striped shiner's shrinking range and possible extirpation from the state may be due to a combination of hybridization, increasing siltation, turbidity and temporary drying up of small creeks during late summer. Agricultural pollution along rivers should be minimized and perhaps the upper sections should be set aside as refuge for these and other sensitive, nongame fish and invertebrates.



Striped Shiner

Side view adult.

Photo by John Lyons, WDNR.

Striped Shiner

Side view adult.

Photo by John Lyons, WDNR.

Striped Shiner

Side view of breeding male and female: Notice the lack of markings on the female.

Photo by John Lyons, WDNR.

Striped Shiner

Side view adult.

Photo by John Lyons, WDNR.

Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Striped Shiner. Only natural communities for which Striped Shiner is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Natural community Score
Warmwater streams 3

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Striped Shiner. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Striped Shiner occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.

Ecological landscape score
Southern Lake Michigan Coastal 3

Back to Top

Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

Ecological LandscapeCommunity
Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Warmwater streams

* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

Back to Top

Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

Back to Top

Last revised: Thursday, December 22, 2022