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Fragile Legacy

Endangered, Threatened & Rare Animals of South Dakota

Sicklefin Chub (Hybopsis meeki)

JPG--species photo species distribution map
Status: Federal Candidate, State Threatened

Description: The sicklefin chub is a small (2-3.5 inches, 50-90 mm) slender minnow with extremely small eyes and sickle-shaped pectoral fins. Its back and upper sides are yellowish brown with silvery reflections. The lower sides and belly are silvery white in color.

Habitat and Habits: The sicklefin chub's preferred habitat includes main channels of large turbid rivers in areas of strong current over sand or fine gravel. Little published information exists on the biology of this fish. It is suspected to be a bottom feeder, locating food by taste. The sicklefin chub has taste buds inside its mouth, which may indicate that food is sorted from other material taken in during bottom feeding. It is probably a spring spawner.

Distribution: The sicklefin chub's distribution is approximately the same as that of the sturgeon chub, but the sicklefin may be more common. In South Dakota, this species may be restricted to the Missouri River below Ft. Randall Dam or its tributary entrances.

Conservation Measures: Like the sturgeon chub, the sicklefin chub has experienced habitat loss resulting from upriver impoundment of the Missouri River and decreased turbidity below the dams.

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