Carpiodes cyprinus
Carpiodes cyprinus
Native Transplant
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Carpiodes cyprinus (Lesueur, 1817)

Common name: Quillback

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994). Taxonomy of the genus Carpiodes on the lower Atlantic Slope is uncertain. Some of the forms resembling C. cyprinus and C. velifer may represent undescribed species (Gilbert, personal communication).

Size: 66 cm.

Native Range: Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi River basins from Quebec to Alberta and south to Louisiana; Atlantic Slope drainages from Delaware River, New York, to Altamaha River, South Carolina (except apparently absent from Rappahannock and York drainages in Virginia, and Tar and Neuse drainages in North Carolina). Gulf Slope drainages from Apalachicola River, Florida and Georgia, to Pearl River, Louisiana (Page and Burr 1991).

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Puerto Rico &
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Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Quillbacks were stocked in Apache Lake and Roosevelt Lake on the Salt River in Arizona (Miller and Lowe 1967). A Quillback was collected in Jackson Park Harbor, Lake Michigan, at Chicago, Illinois, on 21 June 1989 (Savitz et al. 1989b). Although it is regarded as native, the Quillback may have been introduced into the Roanoke, Broad, Catawba, Yadkin, Dan, and Neuse drainages of North Carolina (Menhinick 1991). Another introduction in Lake Michigan was at the extreme southwestern end of Green Bay in Wisconsin (Savitz et al. 1989b). It may also be introduced to the Upper Dan drainage in Virginia (Menhinick 1991).

Means of Introduction: Unknown.

Status: Established in Arizona, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin. Unknown in Illinois.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: Voucher specimen: Illinois (INHS 64805).

References: (click for full references)

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI.

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Gilbert, C.R. - Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL.

Jenkins, R.E., and N.M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Miller, R.R., and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Fishes of Arizona. 133-151 in Lowe, C.H., ed. The vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ.

Menhinick, E.F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Savitz, J., L.G. Bardygula, and L. Scoma. 1989b. The first record of the quillback carpsucker (Carpiodes cyprinus) in Illinois waters of Lake Michigan. Transactions of the Illinois Academy of Science 82(3&4):191-192.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 7/22/2004

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2018, Carpiodes cyprinus (Lesueur, 1817): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 7/22/2004, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/24/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, January 11, 2018


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/24/2018].

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