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Ameiurus nebulosus  (Lesueur, 1819)

Brown bullhead
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Ameiurus nebulosus
Picture by Zienert, S.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes (Catfish) > Ictaluridae (North American freshwater catfishes)
Etymology: Ameiurus: Greek, a = without + Greek, meiouros, -os, -on = without tail (Ref. 45335);  nebulosus: nebulosus meaning clouded, in relation to mottled and grey coloring (Ref. 1998).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; depth range ? - 40 m (Ref. 1998).   Temperate; ? - 37°C (Ref. 35682); 54°N - 25°N

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 55.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); max. published weight: 2.7 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 9 years (Ref. 59043)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 6-7; Anal spines: 1. Caudal fin with 18-19 rays.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North America: Atlantic and Gulf Slope drainages from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada to Mobile Bay in Alabama in USA, and St. Lawrence-Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and Mississippi River basins from Quebec west to Saskatchewan in Canada and south to Louisiana, USA. Introduced into several countries. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction. Asia: Iran and Turkey (Ref. 39702).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in pools and sluggish runs over soft substrates in creeks and small to large rivers. Also found in impoundments, lakes, and ponds. Rarely enters brackish waters (Ref. 1998). A nocturnal feeder that feeds mollusks, insects, leeches, crayfish and plankton, worms, algae, plant material, fishes and has been reported to feed on eggs of least cisco, herring and lake trout (Ref. 1998). Juveniles (3-6 cm) feed mostly on chironomid larvae, cladocerans, ostracods, amphipods, bugs and mayflies (Ref. 1998). Can tolerate high carbon dioxide and low oxygen concentrations and temperatures up to 31.6 °C although experiments show upper lethal temp. to be 37.5 °C; resistant to domestic and industrial pollution (Ref. 1998). Has been observed to bury itself in mud to escape adverse environmental conditions (Ref. 1998). Prepared hot-smoked and also cooked in various ways (Ref. 1998).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5078   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00933 (0.00578 - 0.01506), b=3.09 (2.94 - 3.24), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.47; tm=3; tmax=8).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (30 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.