The Minnow is a small fish, which usually measures only 6 to 10 cm; it has very small scales and an incomplete lateral line. The dorsal fin is positioned well down its back. The back is brown- green and its light green sides often have a golden sheen, whilst its 'belly is white or pinkish. It has dark spots on its back and sides, which sometimes form a continuous lateral stripe or take the form of several transverse stripes. In the spawning season from April to June the males have an especially vivid colouring; the back is very dark, but the sides are golden and the belly, the edges of the lips and the base of their paired fins and anal fin are bright red. They also develop large spawning tubercles. The minnow lives in shoals in the trout zone, where it inhabits unpolluted brooks and mountain streams with a 'sandy or stony bed. It feeds on small invertebrates found on the river bed and also on insects.
The minnow is distributed all over Europe from northern Spain and northern Italy eastwards, but it is absent in northern Scotland, much of Ireland, southern Spain and Portugal, in central and southern Italy, in the Peloponnese and in the northern parts of the Scandinavian peninsula. Its relative Phoxinus percnurus lives in eastern Europe, near to Warsaw, Gdansk and in the watershed of the Oder.
Maximum size and weight: 10 cm, 10 g.
Identifying characteristics: Dorsal fin placed well down the back; lateral line incomplete. Very small scales.
Another examples: Mud-Minnow