Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
Minnow and carp family - cyprinidae, pp. 415-605 ff. PDF (93.4 MB)
Minnow and Carp Family- Cyprinidae Forty-five species of minnows in 15 genera are known from Wiscon- sin; of these, 43 species are native. In the United States and Canada more than 200 species are recognized (Robins et al. 1980), and every year ad- ditional species are accepted. The Cyprinidae include some 275 genera and more than 1,500 species. Of Eurasian origin, it is the largest of all fish families. It is known from the Paleocene of Europe, the Eocene of Asia, and the Miocene of North America. Minnows are small to large, soft-rayed fishes with toothless jaws, pha- ryngeal teeth in the back of the mouth cavity which grind food against a plate fastened to the skull beneath the hind brain, and well-developed fins and scales. The pharyngeal teeth, usually ascribed to the fifth branchial (gill) arch, have been studied in Wisconsin minnows by Peterman (1969), and in depth in Minnesota minnows and suckers by Eastman (1970). Eastman provided a key to the minnow species based solely on these teeth and their arches. Evans and Deubler (1955) noted that the number and ar- rangement of teeth on the arch is rather constant for the species. In our native North American species the teeth are arranged in one or two rows, and tooth replacement is continuous throughout life. What appear to be spines in the dorsal and anal fins of such forms as the carp and the goldfish are actually hardened bundles of soft-ray ele- ments which have fused embryonically to give rise to spinous rays. These are not true spines, such as are encountered in the basses and the sunfishes. 415
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