|A male sheepshead minnow|
Sheepshed minnows have relative deep bodies, are silver to olive-gray in color, and have irregular dark bands the extend over most of their sides. Males and females can be distinguished from one another as well; the edge of the male's caudal fin is darkened and females have an oscillated spot on their dorsal fin.
Sheepshead minnows are found along the Atlantic coast throughout the Gulf of Mexico and south along the South American coastline. They are hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of salinities. They inhabit quiet shallow waters associated with bays, lagoon, marshes, and tidal creeks. In fact, they can also survive in low-to- no oxygen waters by gulping air at the water's surface. Often they are found in schools. Sheepshead minnows are opportunistic feeders. They will feed on plant material, algae, detritus, mosquitoes and smaller fish. They also serve as an important food source for several wading birds as well as many larger fish such as red drum, snook, and spotted sea trout.
|A sheepshed minnow in breeding colors|