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creek chubsucker

creek chubsucker (Erimyzon oblongus) Photo © Uland Thomas

Features and Behaviors


The creek chubsucker is a small sucker with a short dorsal fin, no lateral line and the rear edge of the lower lips forming a "V" shape. Its back and upper sides are green-brown, and its scales are dark-edged. It has a series of dark blotches along its side. The lower sides and belly are yellow or white. The dorsal and tail fins are green or gray while the lower fins are yellow or white. The breeding male has a sickle-shaped anal fin and three large tubercles (bumps) on each side of the snout. The creek chubsucker averages four and one-half to seven inches in length.


The creek chubsucker lives in small creeks and other areas with clear, quiet waters containing much vegetation and a sand or silt bottom. This fish spawns April through May. The male guards a territory and may fight with other creek chubsuckers. The male prepares a type of nest by clearing a space on the gravel bottom. The eggs are buried in the substrate by the fin action of the adults. The creek chubsucker eats water fleas, rotifers, insects and algae.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Catostomidae

Illinois Status: common, native