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.

Ameiurus platycephalus
Ameiurus platycephalus
(Flat Bullhead)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Ameiurus platycephalus (Girard, 1859)

Common name: Flat Bullhead

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Page and Burr (1991); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994). Another commonly used name is Ictalurus platycephalus.

Size: 29 cm.

Native Range: Atlantic Piedmont and Coastal Plain from Roanoke River drainage, Virginia, to Altamaha River drainage, Georgia (Page and Burr 1991).

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 Ameiurus platycephalus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA192519251Upper Cache
GA199519952Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding; Upper Chattahoochee
NC199120156French Broad-Holston; Hiwassee; Nolichucky; Upper French Broad; Upper Little Tennessee; Upper Tennessee
VA198420102James; Upper James

Table last updated 6/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: This species was intentionally stocked in North Carolina. Although tentatively considered native to the James River, Virginia, Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) reported that the species may have escaped from a stocked farm pond. Possibly introduced as a sportfish in drainages of Georgia outside its native range.

Status: Established in North Carolina; probably established in Georgia. Reported in Virginia.

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: The two Virginia specimens taken in the upper James were lost (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). This species closely resembles the snail bullhead Ameiurus brunneus, and some flathead records may be based on misidentifications. Dahlberg and Scott (1971a) did not list this species from the Chattahoochee drainage in Georgia.

References: (click for full references)

Couch, C. A., J. C. DeVivo, and B J. Freeman. 1995. What fish live in the streams of metropolitan Atlanta? Fact Sheet FS-091-95, National Water-Quality Assessment Program, U.S. Geological Survey, Atlanta, GA.

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

Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

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.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 4/11/2006

Peer Review Date: 4/11/2006

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Ameiurus platycephalus (Girard, 1859): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=737, Revision Date: 4/11/2006, Peer Review Date: 4/11/2006, Access Date: 6/20/2024

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 [6/20/2024].

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