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golden redhorse

golden redhorse (Moxostoma erythrurum)
Photo © Isaac Szabo/Engbretson Underwater Photography

Features and Behaviors


The golden redhorse averages eight and one-half to 15 inches in length and one-half to one pound in weight. Its average life span is six or seven years. The long, slender body has a golden color with a yellow or white belly and a gray or green tail. A sucker-type mouth with big lips is present on the lower side of the animal. There is a groove between the upper lip and the snout. The tail fin is forked, and there are teeth in the throat.


The golden redhorse lives in creeks and small rivers with a rock or gravel bottom. This fish lives in large schools on the bottom. It spawns April through May over rubble with gravel and sand. It feeds most actively in the evening, eating bottom ooze, insect larvae and other invertebrates.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native