Catostomus latipinnis
(Flannelmouth Sucker)
Native Transplant
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Catostomus latipinnis Baird and Girard, 1853

Common name: Flannelmouth Sucker

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Native Range: Upper and lower Colorado River basin in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming (Bezzerides and Bestgen 2002). More common in upper Colorado basin, and historically rare in lower Colorado River (Mueller and Wydoski 2004).

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Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Introduced into the Santa Clara River in the Upper Virgin drainage in Utah (Miller 1952).

Ecology: Flannelmouth Suckers are generally found in pools and deep runs of medium to large rivers within the Colorado River basin, with young fish found in aread of slower water velocity than adults (Bezzerides and Bestgen 2002).

Means of Introduction: Introduced in Utah as discarded bait (Miller 1952). Introduced to lower Colorado River by Arizona Game and Fish Department for black fly abatement (Mueller and Wydoski 2004).

Status: Established.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: Abundance and distribution of Flannelmouth Suckers in the Colorado River basin have been greatly reduced from their historical distribution.  Only occurs in 25% of historical habitat in lower Colorado River basin. Extirpated from the Gila River basin, and the majority of the mainstem lower Colorado River below the Grand Canyon. Occupies 50% of historical distribution in upper Colorado River basin (Bezzerides and Bestgen 2002).

The species was translocated to the lower Colorado River near Bullhead City, Arizona, in 1976 (Mueller and Wydoski 2004), as a reintroduction effort (Minkley and Marsh 2009).

References: (click for full references)

Bezzerides, N., and K. Bestgen. 2002. Status review of roundtail chub Gila robusta, flannelmouth sucker Catostomus litipinnis and bluehead sucker Catostomus discobolus in the Colorado River basin. Final report submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation Division of Planning. 139 pp.

Minckley, W.L. and P.C. Marsh. 2009. Inland fishes of the greater Southwest. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Miller, R.R. 1952. Bait fishes of the lower Colorado River, from Lake Mead, Nevada, to Yuma, Arizona, with a key for identification. California Fish and Game 38:7-42.

Mueller, G.A., and R. Wydoski. 2004. Reintroduction of the flannelmouth sucker in the lower Colorado River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24:41-46.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 3/26/2014

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Catostomus latipinnis Baird and Girard, 1853: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 3/26/2014, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/20/2018

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, December 21, 2017


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/20/2018].

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