The Bluenose Shiner has a scattered distribution across the Gulf Coast from eastern Louisiana, through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Florida panhandle, and north central Florida (Page and Burr 2011). In Louisiana, the Bluenose Shiner is limited to the Pearl River basin in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes.
The Bluenose Shiner was long recognized as a species of Notropis (Douglas 1974) until Mayden (1989) elevated it to Pteronotropis. The evolutionary relationships of Pteronotropis have been investigated using mtDNA (Simons et al. 2000) and two nuclear loci (Mayden and Allen 2015). Both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA studies recover a sister group relationship between P. welaka and P. hubbsi.
Knight and Johnston (1996) noted that Bluenose Shiners occupy sluggish habitats with vegetation. Cook (1959) and Baker and Ross (1991) both noted the species is strongly associated with aquatic vegetation in blackwater streams.
The Bluenose Shiner has imperiled status (S2) in Louisiana, as it is only known to occur at 6-20 localities in the state.