Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Cypriniformes
(Carps) > Catostomidae
(Suckers) > Catostominae
Etymology: Catostomus: Greek, kata = down + Greek, stoma = mouth (Ref. 45335); commersonii: Named after P. Commerson, early french naturalist. More on author: Lacepède.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal, usually ? - 30 m (Ref. 1998). Temperate; 0°C - 29°C (Ref. 35682); 68°N - 34°N
North America: throughout most of Canada to the Atlantic Coast, south through North Carolina to New Mexico in the USA, becoming less common in the southern High Plains.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 23 - ? cm
Max length : 65.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 10294); common length : 40.7 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 2.9 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 12 years (Ref. 12193)
Inhabits a wide range of habitats, from rocky pools and riffles of headwaters to large lakes. Usually occurs in small, clear, cool creeks and small to medium rivers. May be found at a depth greater than 45 m (Ref. 1998). Moves to shallower water near sunrise and sunset to feed. Fry (1.2 cm in length) feed on plankton and other small invertebrates; bottom feeding commences upon reaching a length of 1.6-1.8 cm. Preyed upon by birds, fishes, lamprey, and mammals (Ref. 1998). Flesh is white, flaky, and sweet (Ref. 1998).
Adults home to certain gravelly spawning streams. Two to four males crowd around a female and press against her with their fins. Eggs are scattered and adhere to the gravel or are carried downstream and adhere to the substrate when the water is calmer. The spawning act lasts for 3-4 seconds and may occur 6-40 times an hour (Ref. 1998). Spent adults return to the lake 10-14 days after spawning began. Most females return to the lake during the first half of the downstream migration followed by most males in the latter half. Downstream fry migration occurs between dusk and dawn (Ref. 10928).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; bait: occasionally
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01259 (0.00987 - 0.01606), b=2.99 (2.92 - 3.06), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.8 ±0.2 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 8.5 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tm=6; tmax=12).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (57 of 100) .