Suckerfish is one of the most versatile fish found out there. Due to their adaptability, they are found in a variety of sizes and shapes. From a few inches to several feet, this fish can distinguish itself from the rest of the fish from marine life. Its scientific name is the Catostomidae (family name), commonly known as the suckers, which are freshwater fish living in rivers and lakes of fresh water. It is found in regions that include Russia, China, and the US. It is one of the oldest fish, which was even found around 50 million years ago.
Suckers have several types, around 79 to be exact, although these are the 11 types of Suckerfish you must know about.
11 Types of Suckerfish: The Size Comparison
These suckers are classified based on their size, from largest to smallest
Its scientific name is Ictiobus cyprinellus. As per its name, it is a fish with a big mouth and one of the largest suckers out there. It can have a size up to 49.5 inches and has a front-faced big mouth. It has dark fins, accompanied by a variety of colors, but greenish brown is one of the most common colors found in this sucker. Bigmouth Buffalo has small aquatic life including aquatic plants, small fishes, their eggs, and insects.
Blue Sucker is scientifically known as the Cycleptus elongatus. It is the second largest Sucker available out there with a size that can increase up to 40 inches. It has an average life of 40 years. Its distinctive blue color makes it unique from the rest of the competition. It can be found inside the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. As it lives in fresh and well-oxygenated water, it is one of the clear indications of good quality water found across the globe. It feasts upon small aquatic plants and insects lying across the seabed. Its population is consistently declining due to pollution resulting in bad quality of water.
The scientific name of a Longnose Sucker is Catostomus catostomus. It is classified as the 3rd largest Suckerfish and has an elongated brownish body, with its mouth facing downwards and a whitish lower body. It can grow up to 25 inches. They change colors during breeding seasons, as females become more green/golden (upper body) while males will have a darker tone. Found in the misty waters, it is commonly located in Russia, Siberia, and some areas of North America. It eats small insects and invertebrates. Humans often catch it to make food for animals like dogs and some also use them to create dishes such as filets.
White Sucker is scientifically renowned as the Catostomus Commersonii. The white Suckerfish is one of the larger Suckerfish with a size that can go up to 23 inches. This is a native fish of North America and isalso located in the US. It has decent-sized scales on its body, a darker tone color on top, and a whitish-silver lustrous color on its bellies. This resilient fish can survive unfavorable conditions due to its adaptable behavior. It eats small insects, fish eggs, worms, and sometimes other small fish too.
Northern Hog Sucker
Hypentelium nigricans is the name assigned by scientists to the Northern Hog Suckerfish. It is a fish with ray fins and a sloppy elongated body with a downward Suckermouth that can have lengths up to 17 inches. It is found in the calm water regions of the Ozarks. It is not the best-suited fish for consumption. The main reason for this is its long bony head, which makes almost no flesh on the rest of its body, making it quite safe from human consumption. It eats small insects and snails found inside water.
Chinese Algae Eater
Its scientific name is the Gyrinocheilus aymonieri. It is a South Asian fish, found in freshwater bodies with a size that can grow up to 11 inches. It is often classified as an aquarium fish. It feasts on algae found on different rocks and can stick itself to rocks using its sucker-shaped mouth. It has a small long body, with small fins, which it uses to swim inside water. It is a less aggressive fish and tends to hide itself rather than attack.
Rubber Lip Pleco
Chaetostoma milesi, commonly known as the Rubber Lip Pleco, is from the family of suckermouth catfish. Being Native to North America, this fish can also be found in Columbia and Venezuela. This freshwater fish can have a size of up to 7 inches. It is a peaceful fish, which only consumes algae as a food source. It is known for its broader Suckermouth and is often found roaming inside a safe location from other predators.
The Snowball Pleco, scientifically known as the Hypancistrus inspector is another type of small Suckerfish. It can have a length of about 6.3 inches. This fish has a dark-colored body with white polka dots on it. It is famous for its flat belly and is often used as a fish in aquariums due to its beautiful body. It is a native fish of the Rio Negro River, which is known for its acidic nature. The Snowball Pleco is an omnivorous species that feasts on small fishes, animals, and aquatic plants.
The scientific name of Bristlenose Pleco is Ancistrus cirrhosus. It is the 3rd smallest Suckerfish out there, with a size that can go up to only 6 inches. It’s a peaceful creature, with whiskers on its Suckermouth, making it a perfect fit for an aquarium. This is also complemented by its average life of 12 years and can have colors of gray, green, or brown. They are the natives of the Amazon River Basin and survive on food including algae and sometimes small insects too.
This zebra-striped fish is scientifically known as the Hypancistrus zebra. It is the second smallest fish with only a size of about 4 inches. It has huge fins compared to its body, white and black stripes on its body, a Suckermouth, and 4 whiskers that make it stand out in comparison to other fishes. It occasionally eats bloodworms and relies on foods like algae. They are the residents of the freshwater of the Amazon River.
This smallest Suckermouth fish is scientifically called the Otocinclus Vittatus. It is the smallest suckermouth fish with only a length of 2 inches in total. This small fish is a favorite of aquatic lovers, especially the ones with aquariums. The body of this fish is characterized due to its small Suckerand elongated body, with a black stripe going across the whole upper body of this fish. They are found in the marginal areas of small rivers or sometimes in small streams. They often use their suckers to hang on stones of different substrates. The Dwarf Suckermouth eats algae to meet its food needs.
So, these are the top 11 types of Suckerfish you can find across the globe. Now, as you already know about most of the Suckerfish out there, you can find the perfect Suckerfish you have always looking for. These Suckerfish definitely help you to filter out your choice for your next aquarium buddy.