Distribution in the local
Hound Lake, Little Coot Lake,
Nocomis, a native American name
given the genus by Gerard (perhaps from the Ojibwe,
nôkomiss, "grandmother"; used by Longfellow
in the "Song of Hiawatha") biguttatus, from
the Latin, "two spotted"
Common Name from numerous spiny
tubercles developed during the spawning period, on the
head of males, from the snout to well behind the eyes.
Other common names include:
Chub, Horned Chub, Hornyhead, Indian Chub, Jerker, Redtail
Chub, River Chub
Phylum Chordata, animals with a spinal chord
Subphylum Vertebrata, animals with a backbone
Superclass Osteichthyes, bony fishes
Class Actinopterygii, ray-finned and spiny rayed fishes
Order Cypriniformes, minnows and suckers
Family Cyprinidae, carps and minnows
Genus Nocomis, hornyhead chubs
Until recently, listed under the genus Hybopsis. The
sub-genus Nocomis was then raised to genus status and
is now considered more closely related to Semotilus
than to Hybopsis.
A large minnow of creeks and
males typically 6"-9"
lateral band from eye to base of tail, terminating in
a prominent black spot
olive brown on the back above lateral band
silvery on the sides below lateral band
distinctive red patch behind each eye in breeding males
pinkish-bluish wash with prominent white tubercles on
head in breeding males
orange-colored dorsal and anal fins
dorsal fin of 8 rays, set slightly behind the pelvic
pectoral fins of 14 to 16 rays
pelvic fins of 8 rays
anal fin of 7 rays
complete lateral line of 38 to 48 large scales
scales along the back and upper sides may appear cross
slightly oblique, and terminal mouth
distinct barbel on the posterior tip of the jaw
hooked pharyngeal teeth on broad arches in a 1, 4-4,
from the similar Creek Chub by:
barbel at the posterior end of the jaw
complete lateral line of 38 to 48 large scales (49-64
in Creek Chub).
anal fin of 7 rays (8 in Creek Chub).
Clear, small to medium-sized
streams with sand and gravel bottoms, near riffle areas
but away from the current, especially in areas of aquatic
Rare in lakes, though occasionally found there near
mouths of small creeks
Young initially feed on zooplankton,
switching to fish, crayfish, aquatic insects, algae,
and plants as adults.
Used occasionally as a bait
occurs from late May through June. A nest is constructed
by the male which moves materials away from an area
1'-2' in diameter, then piles pebbles in the cavity
to a height of 6". At spawning, several hundred
eggs drop between the pebbles in the nest, protected
from predation by the surrounding gravel.
Although the male hornyhead will drive off others of
the same species, it tolerates other kinds of fish.
Blacknose dace, common shiner, and stoneroller minnows,
among others, will also use these nests for spawning.
During the spawning period, males develop spiny tubercles
on the head from the snout to well behind the eyes which
give rise to the common name.