Mountain suckers are small,
torpedo-shaped fish. Like other
suckers, they have large mouths
with large fleshy lips, which they
can extend to feed, but no teeth.
The lower jaw is edged with
cartilage. The lower lip is shaped
like the tail flukes of a whale and
covered with papillae (sensory
organs for feeding). Mountain
suckers have a deep notch where
the upper and lower lips join; in
other suckers the two lips come
together like one. The back of
their body is dark green, grey or
brown, speckled with black. The
sensory line down their sides
(lateral line) is not very obvious.
The belly of the fish is pale yellow
to white. Fins are normally
colourless. Breeding fish are
brightly coloured with an orange
to deep red band on their flanks
and darker fins. Very young
suckers closely resemble minnows
with the mouth placed at the end of the nose. The mouth migrates
under the head as they grow.
Mountain sucker fry are strongly
marked with dark green backs,
white bellies, and three dark
crescent-shaped markings behind
the gill cover.
Ministry of Fisheries. 1999. Mountain Sucker. Ministry of Fisheries. BC Fish Facts
Topic: Fish and Fish Habitats
Keywords: mountain sucker, fish, fish facts, fisheries
Scientific Name: Catostomus platyrhynchus
English Name: Mountain Sucker
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