Creek Chubsucker
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Close-up of mouth/snout: The lower lip is fleshy.
  • Note that the body depth is less than 30% of SL; usually there are 39-41 lateral scales and a posteriorly placed anal fin.
  • Close-up of head: The mouth is terminal.
  • Close-up of dorsal fin: There are usually 9-10 dorsal rays.
  • Close-up of flank: Note the absence of pored lateral line scales.
  • Close-up of head: The snout shows 3 large tubercles.
  • The head is bluish with 3 large tubercles, the anal fin is sickle-shaped with many smaller tubercles.
  • Close-up of anal fin: The anal fin is sickle-shaped with many smaller tubercles.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: They are similar to adults, but have a more pronounced lateral stripe.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Suckers (Catostomidae)
Mouth and snout: Subterminal, no teeth on jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Single lateral stripe, solid color, or 5-8 faint lateral BLOTCHES. Body overall olive, dark tan, or gray above lateral area grading to cream on the belly. Fins without distinctive markings and limited dark pigment. 37-45 (usually 39-41) cycloid lateral line scales; none with pores (lateral line absent). Body shape and size: Body fusiform to somewhat laterally compressed and moderately deep in adults; oval in cross section. Typically 115-175 mm (4.5-7 in) TL; maximum about 235 mm (9.5 in).
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Forked tail. Single dorsal with no spines and 8-11 (usually 9-10 rays). Pelvic fins abdominal. Adipose fin absent. Anal fin usually with 7 rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The Creek chubsucker can be distinguished by its lack of a lateral line, its more posteriorly placed anal fin (distance from front of anal fin to caudal base contained more than 2.5 times in the distance from the front of the anal fin to the tip of the snout), its 9 or more (rarely 8) dorsal rays, its thick fleshy lower lip, and its lack of an exposed cartilaginous ridge on the lower jaw. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males with three large tubercles on each side of snout and numerous smaller tubercles on anal fin; anal fin sickle-shaped; yellow fins; and blue-gray head.
Deep bodied with more pronounced markings (lateral stripe or blotches).
Compare Similar Species
Dorsal Fin Rays
Chubsucker, Creek8-11, usually 9-10
Chubsucker, Lake10-13, usually 11-12
Lateral Scales
Chubsucker, Creek37-45, usually 39-41
Chubsucker, Lake33-40, usually 35-37
Body Depth (% of Standard Length)
Chubsucker, Creek24-31%, usually <30%
Chubsucker, Lake29-35%, usually 32-34%
Similarity Index
Chubsucker, CreekN/A
Chubsucker, LakeVery similar