Genus: Labidesthes, Menida
These unique fish can be very easy to pick out due to their size, shape, and small first dorsal, but identifying the species can be a challenge. Most will reside in shallow waters flowing over rocks and gravel in streams, but will be found in many reservoirs as well.
Originally from northern lakes these fish were introduced to maintain gnat and midge populations in California. They have since spread to some areas of Texas, including lake Amistad. Most of their diet consists of insect larvae and zooplankton, but they are attributed with the decline of blacktail chubs, among many other species, across Texas. As the eggs of bass, gar, and chub develop and move into the water collumn, the inland silverside has been known to forage on them in great quantities.
This fish can be differentiated from the brook silverside by the dark scale pigmentation on the dorsal portion of the body, as well as the anal fin extending only to the edge of the dorsal fin.
These fish have been stocked as a forage fish in many reservoirs, but also contribute to limitations of water insect populations. While these insectivores often look for larvae or particulate matter in the water collumn, they can often be seen jumping out of the water to catch surface insects or escape predators.
Differentiated from inland silversides by smaller lateral scales and pointed snout, as well as an anal fin that extends significantly beyond the edge of the dorsal fin
Last updated: February 11, 2019