Catostomus catostomus (Forster, 1773)
Longnose sucker
Catostomus catostomus
photo by The Native Fish Conservancy

Family:  Catostomidae (Suckers), subfamily: Catostominae
Max. size:  64 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 3,300.0 g; max. reported age: 20 years
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; pH range: 6.5 - 7.80000019073486; dH range: 5 - 25; depth range - 180 m
Distribution:  North America: throughout most of Canada and Alaska; Atlantic Slope south to Delaware River drainage in New York, USA; Great Lakes basin; upper Monongahela River drainage in Maryland and West Virginia, USA; Missouri River drainage south to Nebraska and Colorado, USA. Also in Arctic basin of Siberia in Russia. Occurs in Columbia River System (Molly Hallock, pers. comm.).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-11; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 7-7; Vertebrae: 45-47. Distinguished by the sucking mouth located on the ventral sides of the head and thick papillose lips (Ref. 27547). Gill rakers short; lateral line complete, inconspicuous; caudal tips slightly rounded (Ref. 27547). Adults may be reddish brown, dark brassy green or black above, paler on the lower sides, with the ventral parts white; young fish are usually dark gray with small black spots; breeding males are usually dark above with a brilliant reddish stripe along each side, while females are greenish gold to copper, with a less brilliant red stripe; breeding males show prominent tubercles on the rays of the anal and caudal fins and also on the head (Ref. 27547).
Biology:  Found in clear, cold, deep water of lakes and tributary streams; occasionally found in brackish water in the Arctic (Ref. 5723). Moves from lakes into inlet streams or from slow, deep pools into shallow, gravel-bottomed portions of streams to spawn (Ref. 27547). Feeds on benthic invertebrates (Ref. 1998). Young are preyed upon by other fishes and fish-eating birds; while adults in spawning streams are taken by mammals, osprey and eagles (Ref. 1998). Utilized as a food fish or as dog food (Ref. 27547).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 21 February 2020 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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