Minnow (Phoxinus Phoxinus)


Minnow (Phoxinus Phoxinus)

The minnow is a small fish with a rounded body and rounded, blunt snouted head. The dorsal and anal fins are short based with rounded outlines. Body covered with very small scales, lateral line curved downwards following the belly outline, but incomplete with gaps in its course towards the tail.

Minnow coloration, back and upper sides olive brown, ventrally creamy white. A series of dusky blotches along the sides, the darkest nearest the tail. Breeding males have red bellies and black throats.


Small streams, often high up in the headwaters and occasionally in high altitude lakes. Most common in regions where the temperature is low and the oxygen levels high, but the minnow is found in small numbers in large rivers close to shallow water.


Eats a wide range of small crustaceans, insects including those that fall into the water from the backside vegetation, algae and water plants.


Minnows breed in spring (April June) on gravel shallows often below a riffle, the eggs are shed amongst the stones.


Minnows are widespread throughout the UK, can be a nuisance during the summer months. The Current minnow UK record is 13.5 drams.

Back to Fish Facts