Notropis chalybaeus
Ironcolor shiner

Key Characteristics

The ironcolor shiner is a small (5-6 cm), yellowish fish that in breeding season has a bright red belly. This species has a complete lateral line with a lateral band that extends from snout to tail. It has a small subterminal oblique mouth with black pigmentation on the snout, chin, and inside of mouth.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: X
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G4


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Joseph21940
Distribution map for Notropis chalybaeus

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


The ironcolor shiner occurred in larger bodies of water (lakes and rivers) characterized by clear, well vegetated water with depths of 0.6 to 0.9 m.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Degradation of stream habitat is the main factor in the ironcolor shiner's decline and possible disappearance in Michigan. Declines are also due to siltation, increased turbidity, and pollution.

Active Period

Spawning from fourth week of May to third week of July

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 22, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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