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Hatch, J.T. and S. Besaw. 1998. Diverse food use in Minnesota populations of the Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka). Report submitted to the Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.


We examined the total gut contents of 65 Topeka shiners (Notropis topeka) that were collected from the Rock River drainage of southwestern Minnesota in 1997. Anecdotal and unpublished information regarding food habits have suggested that Topeka shiners are largely benthic or nektonic insectivores. Our results show that they are omnivores, which feed opportunistically on a several kinds of microcrustaceans, other invertebrates, larval fish, algal and vascular plant matter, and detritus in addition to a variety of immature aquatic insects. The Topeka shiner functions both as a benthic and nektonic feeder and shows strong trophic similarities to its sister species, the sand shiner (N. stramineus) and the swallowtail shiner (N. procne).

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