Invasive Animal

Rosy Red Minnow

Pimephales promelas

About This Species

Rosy red minnow is a variety of Fathead minnow that has been bred for its colour. It appears occasionally in waterways around BC, likely after having been intentionally dumped by pet owners. In 2018, a small population was reported in ponds and ditches near Prince George, and in 2020 a breeding population was found by Gavin Hanke from the Royal BC Museum in a pond near Kelowna. It is unknown whether these populations are capable of spreading from these areas. Several artificial ponds in the Metro Vancouver area are also known to contain Rosy red minnows.

The potential impact of Rosy red minnows on BC’s aquatic habitats is not well understood, but these fish can readily breed in BC waterways. If they were to spread they would likely compete with other small fish for food and habitat, and feed on native invertebrates and algae. Many species of exotic aquarium fish are dumped into BC waterways each year, but only some of them are able to survive and breed. These species, including the Oriental weatherfish, Goldfish, and the Rosy red minnow, are high priorities for eradication within BC.

How to Identify

Rosy red minnows grow to 2-6 cm long. Their sides and bellies are silver, while their backs, tails, and head are an orange-red or pink in colour. They have large eyes with a metallic iris. Their fins are translucent.

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Invasive species are plants, animals or other organisms that are not native to BC, and have serious impacts on our environment, economy and society. Never release your plants and animals into the wild or dump aquariums or water garden debris into rivers, streams, lakes or storm sewers!

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