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Ictiobus cyprinellus.jpg
Bigmouth buffalo, Ictiobus cyprinellus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Suborder: Cobitoidea
Family: Catostomidae
Genus: Ictiobus
Rafinesque, 1820

See text.

Ictiobus, also known as buffalo fish or simply buffalo, is a genus of freshwater fish common in the United States, but also found in Canada, Mexico and Guatemala. They are the largest North American suckers, reaching up to 1.23 m (4.0 ft) in length.[1] They are sometimes mistaken for carp because of the flat face and large, silver scales running along the body, though they lack the whisker-like mouth appendages common to carp. Buffalo fish live in most types of freshwater bodies where panfish are found, such as ponds, creeks, rivers, and lakes. Ictiobus was caught by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

From a fishermen's point of view, the buffalo fish is not a popular game fish because it is difficult to catch. Yet, once on the line, it can put up a good fight. The preferred method of catch is by the use of gill nets. These nets are set by hand during the night where it is most effective. It is an affordable fish that is popular in the southern U.S. such as the Memphis and St. Louis markets.


There are currently five recognized species in the genus:[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2011). Species of Ictiobus in FishBase. August 2011 version.

External links[edit]