Skip to content

Topeka Shiner

Photo by Garold Sneegas

Topeka Shiner

Notropis topeka

Federal Status: Endangered

State Status: Threatened


Dark Blue = Designated critical habitat
Light Blue = Historical records

Comments: The male Topeka shiner has brilliant orange-red fins and cheeks during spawning season. The small, chevron-shaped dark spot at the base of the tail is a good identifying mark. Topeka shiners inhabit small tributary streams primarily in the Flint Hills. These streams often quit flowing during droughts, and the Topeka shiner has adapted to these conditions by seeking refuge in springfed pools. The Topeka shiner has the interesting behavior of spawning in the nests of sunfish species, especially the green and orange-spotted sunfish. It is known from six states but is imperiled because it has disappeared from nearly 80 percent of its former range. Pollution and habitat alteration caused by impoundments and stream channelization are blamed for the decline.