Ecology: The Smallmouth Buffalo is known to be found in faster flowing waters than its relatives the Bigmouth Buffalo and Black Buffalo. Where the three species coexist the Smallmouth Buffalo and Black Buffalo are observed to prefer deeper water and the Smallmouth Buffalo exhibits a preference for fine substrates (Becker 1983).
The Smallmouth Buffalo begins spawning in April to early June at temperatures of 15.6-18.3°C (Becker 1983). 18,000-500,000 adhesive eggs per female are randomly disturbed over any substrate. Smallmouth Buffalo have a possible preference for spawning over submerged vegetation (Etnier and Starnes 1993). Spawning has been observed to be the most successful in years when water levels rise during the spring to flood marshes or low-lying meadows (Becker 1983).
The diet of Ictiobus bubalus under one year old is composed of copepods and cladocerans. Other food sources for young include algae, duckweed, protozoans, rotifers, insect larvae, and insect eggs. When mature, Ictiobus bubalus is an opportunistic feeder, feeding on organisms that are most abundant. The primary source of food depends on where the species is found (Becker 1983).
References: (click for full references)
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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.