Scientific Name: – Catostomus commersonii
The white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) is a freshwater Cypriniform fish inhabiting the upper Midwest and Northeast in North America, but is also found as far south as Georgia and New Mexico in the south. The fish is commonly known as a “sucker” due to its fleshy papillose lips that suck up organic matter from the bottom of rivers and streams.
Other common names for the white sucker include bay fish, brook sucker, common sucker, and mullet. The white sucker is often confused with the longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus), because they look very similar.
It is a long, round-bodied fish with a dark green, grey, copper, brown, or black back and sides and a light underbelly. The fish also has typical features of primitive cypriniformes fishes, such as a homocercal tail, cycloid scales, as well as dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fin rays. When fullgrown, it can reach lengths between 12 and 20 inches long and weigh anywhere from 2 to 6 pounds. The fish’s suckermouth with its fleshy lips are located in the inferior position at the bottom of its head, as the fish obtains its food from bottom surfaces. These fish are also commonly mistaken for different types of Suckers and Redhorse, but can be distinguished by its complete lateral line system containing 55-85 small scales.