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Creek

CREEK CHUBSUCKER

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Erimyzon oblongus

 

Characteristics: The body of this small chubsucker has 39 to 45 mid-lateral scales but no lateral line. The mouth is slightly subterminal, and the two halves of the lower lip meet almost at a right angle. The dorsal fin contains 10 to 12 soft rays, and its distal margin is convex. The anal fin is slightly to moderately bilobed, particularly on males. Body color on the back is light brown to gray, shading to cream on the venter. A lateral stripe containing six to eight dark blotches extends along the side of the body. Breeding males have three tubercles on each side of the head.

 ADULT SIZE: 5 to 7 in (127 to 178 mm)

DISTRIBUTION: The most abundant chubsucker in Alabama, the creek chubsucker occurs in both the Tennessee River drainage and the Mobile basin, primarily below the Fall Line. Page and Burr (1991) indicate that the Gulf slope range of this species extends from the Chattahoochee River, Florida, west to the San Jacinto River, Texas. We have no records of its presence in the Escatawpa River system in southwestern Alabama or in any of the smaller coastal drainages in southeastern Alabama, although Wall and Gilbert (1980) report a single collection from the Escambia River system in Florida.

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: Inhabitants of low-gradient, slow-moving, sandy-bottomed steams, creek chubsuckers usually occur around aquatic vegetation, leaf packs, or submerged tree roots. Small individuals form schools, while large adults are usually solitary. Based on collections of tuberculate, gravid adults, we believe this species spawns in March and early April throughout Alabama. Page and Johnston (1990b) note that males defend territories over gravel and near nests constructed by stonerollers, Campostoma, and creek chubs, Semotilus atromaculatus. The female indicates her readiness to spawn by burying her snout in gravel; then she spawns with a single male. Carlander (1969) reports that creek chubsuckers live for up to five years. The diet of small chubsuckers consists of copepods, cladocerans, and small aquatic insect larvae.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Mitchill described the creek chubsucker in 1814.

ETYMOLOGY:
Erimyzon means to suck.
Oblongus means oblong.

The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.

Note: In Alabama, it is illegal to stock or move any fish, mussel, snail or crayfish to any public water without a permit.

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