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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Mountain Sucker - Catostomus platyrhynchus

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Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 3


 

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General Description
The mountain sucker has a more limited habitat than other Montana suckers. It is virtually limited to running waters east of the Divide. It also is the smallest sucker in Montana with its largest specimens having a length of about 9 inches.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Back and upper sides are dusky or dark green with black specks; may have dark mottling shaped like saddles across the back; lower body whitish. Both sexes have a reddish orange band along sides during breeding season; band is brighter, longer, and wider in male. Mouth is so long it sometimes exceeds head width. See Snyder and Muth (1990) for a guide to the identification of larvae and early juveniles. No other Montana sucker has a notch in each corner of mouth.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Western Hemisphere Range

 


Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 709

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Relative Density

Recency

 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Cold, clear streams with rubble, gravel or sand bottoms; sometimes turbid streams but seldom lakes. Found principally in riffle habitat in middle Missouri River study.

Food Habits
Mostly algae, aquatic plants and invertebrates obtain from the cobbles and pebbles from the stream bottom.

Ecology
Young prefer slower side channels or weedy backwaters. Seldom exceed 6 inches in length as adults.

Reproductive Characteristics
Sexually mature : males in 2 -3 yrs., females in 4 years. Spawns June - July when water temperatures exceed 50 degrees F. Incubation period probably short.

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Mountain Sucker — Catostomus platyrhynchus.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=AFCJC02160
 
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