The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Pantosteus platyrhynchus
Pantosteus platyrhynchus
(Mountain Sucker)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Pantosteus platyrhynchus (Cope, 1874)

Common name: Mountain Sucker

Synonyms and Other Names: Pantosteus platyrhynchus, P. jordani, P. lahontan. See Smith (1966) for full history.

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Sigler and Miller (1963); Sigler and Sigler (1996), Smith (1966).

Native Range: Western United States in eastern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washinton, and Wyoming; Alberta, British Colombia, and Saskatchewan, western Canada (Belica and Nibbelink 2006; Page and Burr 2011).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Pantosteus platyrhynchus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AZ194519451Lower Colorado Region
CA200220021East Branch North Fork Feather
NV193819622Imperial Reservoir; Muddy
UT195019633Duchesne; Price; Strawberry

Table last updated 4/13/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Hypothesized as stocked for bait or bait bucket release for introduced populations in Utah and Nevada (Miller 1952; Sigler and Miller 1963). Population in Sacramento River drainage, California, likely resulted from a water diversion from the LIttle Truckee River for irrigation (Moyle 2002).

Status: Common in the Duchesne River drainage, and established in the Price River drainage, Utah (Sigler and Sigler 1996).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: Sigler and Miller (1963) identify the specimen from Lake Mead listed by Miller (1952) as bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus; given as Pantosteus delphinus in Sigler and Miller 1963).

References: (click for full references)

Belica, L.T., and N.P. Nibbelink. 2006. Mountain sucker (Catostomus platyrhynchus): a technical conservation assessment. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region

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.

Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 2011. Field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Peterson Field Guides series. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA.

Sigler, W.F., and R.R. Miller. 1963. Fishes of Utah. Utah State Department of Fish and Game, Salt Lake City, UT.

Sigler, W.F., and J.W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah: a natural history. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.

Smith, G.R. 1966. Distribution and evolution of the North American catostomid fishes of the subgenus Pantosteus, genus Catostomus. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, no. 129. Ann Arbor, MI.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 7/29/2011

Peer Review Date: 7/29/2011

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Pantosteus platyrhynchus (Cope, 1874): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=350, Revision Date: 7/29/2011, Peer Review Date: 7/29/2011, Access Date: 4/13/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/13/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.