Small fishes, especially of the carp family (Cyprinidae), as well as some rockfish (family Umbridae) and killifishes (family Cyprinodontidae). The numerous species of North American cyprinid minnows are freshwater fishes, 2.4–12 in. (6–30 cm) long. Many are valuable as food for fishes, birds, and other animals and as live bait. The bluntnose (Pimephales notatus) and fathead (P. promelas) minnows, the common shiner, and the American roach are good bait species. The term also refers to the young of many large fish species. The minnow of Europe and northern Asia (Phoxinus phoxinus) is about 3 in. (7.5 cm) long and varies from golden to green.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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