(Pimephales promelas)

Pimephales, Greek, meaning “fat head;”

promelas, from the Greek pro, meaning “before or in front”, and melas, meaning “black”, in reference to the black head of breeding males (Ross 2001)

Common Names:

  • fathead minnow

  • blackhead minnow

  • rosy red

Domain: Eukarya The fathead minnow is defined as Eukarya because it has membrane-bound organelles, complex cells, and has a nucleus with organism-specific, genetic code.

Kingdom: Animalia Fathead minnows are defined as Animalia because they have no alternation of generation, they are motile, and they are multicellular.

Phylum: Chordata The fathead minnow is considered under the phylum Chordata, because they have a well-developed coelom, they are bilaterally symmetrical, a post anal tail at some point in their life, has a hollow dorsal nerve cord, and a notochord.


Class: Actinopterygii Actinopterygii Is the class of the ray-finned fishes, which are so called because they possess lepidotrichia or "fin rays", their fins being webs of skin supported by bony or horny spines ("rays").

Order: Cypriniformes The cypriniformes possess a Weberian apparatus. they have only a dorsal fin on their back.  They have convergent structures called pharyngeal teeth in the throat.

Family: Cyprinidae Cyprinids are stomachless fish and the jaws are toothless. Food can be effectively chewed by the gill rakers of the specialized last gill bow. These pharyngeal teeth can make chewing motions against a chewing plate formed by a procession of the skull. The pharyngeal teeth are species specific and are used by specialists to determine the species.

Genus: Pimephales These organisms in the Genus Pimephales are commonly known as the blunt nose minnows . All of the four species (notatus, promelas, tenellus, and vigilax) are small fish.

Species: Pimphales promelas

See where this organism fits in the grand scheme of things by looking at its phylogeny

Next we find out the fathead minnow's habitat.

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