Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
minnow,common name for the Cyprinidae, a large family of freshwater fish which includes the carpcarp,
hardy freshwater fish, Cyprinus carpio, the largest member of the minnow family; it is also known as the common carp. A native of Black, Caspian, and Aral sea basins of Eurasia, the carp has been introduced widely elsewhere in the world and has become so well
..... Click the link for more information. (Cyprinus carpio), and of which there are some 2,400 species. Minnows have soft-rayed fins and teeth in the throat only. Together with the closely allied suckersucker,
common name for members of the family Catostomidae, freshwater fish related to the minnows. Like minnows and the less closely related catfishes, the suckers possess an intricate set of bones forming a highly sensitive hearing apparatus. Suckers range in size from 6 in.
..... Click the link for more information. family and with the catfishescatfish,
common name applied to members of the fish families constituting the order Siluriformes, found in fresh and coastal waters. Catfish are named for the barbels ("whiskers") around their mouths and have scaleless skins, fleshy, rayless posterior fins, and sharp defensive
..... Click the link for more information. they form the "hearing-aid" group of freshwater fishes, so-called for the complex set of bones extending from the airfloat to the inner ear, which gives them a superior sense of hearing and accounts for their characteristic wariness.
The carp is generally considered the largest of the minnow family, although the pikeminnows, or squawfishes, of the Columbia and Colorado rivers average 30 lb (13.5 kg) and the mahseer, a game fish of India, is also large. However, most minnows are small. They have great importance in the cycle of freshwater aquatic life, since they consume aquatic insects, larvae, and crustaceans and in turn serve as food for many larger fish. Most species are dully colored, though a few are brilliantly hued in greens, reds, and yellows.
Various members of the family are called shiners, chubs, daces, roaches, breams, and bleaks; many of the American species are called shiners. The most widespread American minnow is the common shiner, Luxilus cornutus or Notropis cornutus. The Eurasian minnow is Phoxinus phoxinus. The creek chub and the golden shiner, a greenish fish that turns golden during the breeding season, attain a length of 12 in. (2.5 cm). The red shiner and redbelly dace are also named for the seasonal color changes in the male. The goldfishgoldfish,
freshwater fish, genus Carassius, of the family Cyprinidae, popular in aquariums and ponds. Native to China, it was first domesticated centuries ago from the wild form, an olive-colored carplike fish up to 16 in. (40 cm) long.
..... Click the link for more information. , genus Carassius, is also a member of the minnow family.
Certain varieties of killifishkillifish,
any of more than a thousand species of small fish of the several families of the order Cyprinodontiformes (toothed minnows or toothed carps), a group that includes also the topminnows and many popular aquarium fishes (e.g.
..... Click the link for more information. of the family Cyprinodontidae are called topminnows and toothed minnows. The carnivorous mudminnows of the family Umbridae, found in the sluggish waters in the Great Lakes region and the Atlantic coastal lowlands, superficially resemble toothed minnows but are more closely related to the pikepike,
common name for the family Esocidae, freshwater game and food fishes of Europe, Asia, and North America. The pike, the muskellunge, and the pickerel form a small but well-known group of long, thin fishes with spineless dorsal fins, large anal fins, and long, narrow jaws
..... Click the link for more information. ; they are also called dogfishes.
Minnows are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Cypriniformes, family Cyprinidae.