Catostomidae

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Amyzon
Carpiodes
Catostomus
Chasmistes
Cycleptus
Deltistes
Erimyzon
Hypentelium
Ictiobus
Minytrema
Moxostoma
Myxocyprinus
Thoburnia
Vasnetzovia
Xyrauchen

Catostomidae is the sucker family of the order Cypriniformes. There are 80 species in this family of freshwater fishes. Catostomidae are found in North America, east central China, and eastern Siberia. They are not usually fished recreationally; they are not highly prized in North America for their flesh although they are a fairly popular target with spear fisherman.

Contents

Description and biology

Their mouth is located on the underside of the head (subterminal), with thick, fleshy lips. Most species are less than 60 centimetres (2.0 ft) in length but the largest species can reach 100 centimetres (3.3 ft). They are distinguished from related fish by having a long pharyngeal bone in the throat, containing a single row of teeth.[1]

Catostomids are most often found in rivers but can be found in any freshwater environment. Their food ranges from detritus and bottom dwelling organisms (such as crustaceans and worms), to surface insects and small fishes.

Fossil record

Catostomidae have been uncovered and dated to the Middle Eocene in Colorado and Utah. An enormous gap (36.2 million years) in the fossil record occurs from the Late Eocene to Early Pleistocene[2]

As food

They can be taken by many fishing methods including angling and gigging. Often species such as Catostomus commersonii and Hypentelium nigricans are preferred for eating. They can be canned, smoked or fried, however often small incisions must be made in the flesh (termed "scoring") before frying to allow small internal bones to be palatable. [3]

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