Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Cypriniformes
(Carps) > Cyprinidae
(Minnows or carps) > Leuciscinae
Etymology: Rhinichthys: Greek, rhinos = nose + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335); cataractae: cataractae meaning of the Cataract, the original type being from Niagara Falls (Ref. 1998).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: ? - 7.0; dH range: 10 - 15. Subtropical; 4°C - 16°C (Ref. 2060), preferred ?; 69°N - 28°N
North America: distributed above 40°N from coast to coast; as far north as Arctic Circle in Mackenzie River drainage; south in Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia and in Rocky Mountains south into Rio Grande drainage of Texas and northern Mexico.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 6 - 10.6 cm
Max length : 22.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 51971); common length : 9.4 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. reported age: 5 years (Ref. 12193)
Vertebrae: 40 - 42. Absence of a groove between the upper lip and tip of snout. Barbel present. Snout long and overhanging.
Inhabits rubble and gravel riffles (sometimes runs and pools) of fast creeks and small to medium rivers as well as rocky shores of lakes (Ref. 5723, 86798). Young up to 4 months are pelagic (Ref. 1998). Form schools (Ref. 1998). Feeds on mayflies, blackflies, and midges (Ref. 1998). Spawns over pits in loose gravel substrate (Ref. 51972). Widely used as bait in the USA (Ref. 1998). Artificially propagated in Minnesota, USA in long narrow ponds having weak water flow (Ref. 1998).
Ovarian development probably of the group-synchronous type. Fecundity is determinate based on release of great majority of oocytes in a given spawning season, few signs of atretic oocytes and oocyte diameter distribution points to lack of substantial production of new oocytes (Ref. 51971).
Spawn on rock and gravel. Larvae benthic (Ref. 7471). According to a study (Ref. 10280), although no nest is built, a territory is established and one parent guards the nest. In Manitoba, females lay 200-1200 transparent eggs hatching in 7-10 days at 15.6°C. Young are pelagic and inhabit quiet waters inshore; pelagic stage lasts 4 months before typical bottom dwelling existence of adults commence (Ref 1998). Spawn in riffles over gravelly bottom near nest of river chub.
Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 2011. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 663p. (Ref. 86798)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial; bait: usually
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5020 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00617 (0.00306 - 0.01241), b=3.08 (2.90 - 3.26), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.40 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2; tmax=5; Fec = 1,155).
Prior r = 0.47, 2 SD range = 0.21 - 1.06, log(r) = -0.76, SD log(r) = 0.4, Based on: 2 tgen, 1 tmax, 4 Fec records
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) .