Spotted Sucker

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FISH PROFILE

COMMON NAME

Spotted Sucker

Scientific name

Minytrema melanops

FAMILY

Catostomidae family

LENGTH

Up to 19 inches

DIET

Adult insects and larvae, eaten off of the river bottom with their downturned mouth

Play Video

FISH PROFILE

COMMON NAME

Spotted Sucker

Scientific name

Minytrema melanops

FAMILY

Catostomidae family

LENGTH

Up to 19 inches

DIET

Adult insects and larvae, eaten off of the river bottom with their downturned mouth

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

Spotted suckers have rows of square, black-brown spots along the bottom of the exposed scale. These fish are mostly bronze/green or a copper/silver color, and have olive/grey colored dorsal, caudal and anal fins. The primary characteristics will be a downturned “sucker” mouth and an angular dorsal fin.

 

RANGE, HABITAT, and BEHAVIOR

Spotted suckers are widely distributed across the central and eastern U.S., but their range does not include the southern areas of Florida. They will mostly likely be seen swimming or feeding near the bottom, feeding on mollusks and aquatic insects.

 

FUN FACTS

Due to their sensitivity to poor water quality and high turbidity, spotted suckers have been eliminated from some Florida streams. Spring-fed rivers offer the pristine water quality that can maintain this species.

Spotted suckers have no teeth in their mouths, but instead have pharyngeal teeth. This is why they rely on sucking prey into their protractible mouth!

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