Catostomus discobolus jarrovii
|Zuni bluehead sucker|
|Subspecies:||C. d. jarrovii|
|Catostomus discobolus jarrovii
Catostomus discobolus jarrovii (Zuni bluehead sucker) is a species of fish only found in North America.
The Zuni bluehead sucker has a slender fusiform body with a subterminal mouth. The fish’s mouth contains fleshy lips and protuberances, mainly on the lower lips. Both lips are notched laterally, and the middle separation of the lips extends all the way to the fish’s anterior margin. The position of the lips is unique to this species. A Zuni bluehead sucker has a generally thick caudal penduncle. For coloration, young Zuni bluehead suckers are dark gray-green dorsally and cream-white ventrally; while adults are slate-gray, being almost black dorsally and cream-white ventrally. Males develop a distinct coloration during spawning season; instead of being slate-gray, they become intense black with a bright red lateral band. Most individuals are 200 mm (7.87 in) at most, although few were found at 250 mm.
The Zuni bluehead sucker can be found in East Central Arizona, and most recently found in four small streams in 1966. Several specimens were collected from East Clear Creek and from Kin Li Chee Creek, but populations decreased in the early 1980s. However, the presence of the Zuni bluehead suckers was confirmed in 1987 and 2000 when individuals were collected again for genetic evaluation.
The Zuni Bluehead Sucker is New Mexico's most endangered fish, as it is listed on the New Mexico Game & Fish's Endangered Species List. The Zuni Mountains area south of Grants, New Mexico provides the only habitat for this species.
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is working collaboratively with multi-agencies to bring back the Zuni Bluehead Sucker from near extinction.
Zuni bluehead suckers are found in stream habitats with shade and lots of substrates like bedrock, boulders, and cobble. Pools are often edged by emergent aquatic vascular plants.
Zuni bluehead suckers eat algae and invertebrates off of rocks with the cartilaginous scraper in their mouths.
Zuni bluehead suckers spawn in April through late May, when water temperature reaches 10-15 °C (50-59⁰ F). Females are usually larger than males, and produce about 200-300 eggs (larger females can produce more than 450).
Due to poor watershed management, the populations of the Zuni bluehead sucker decreased 90% in the last 20 years. These fish are now only found in fragmented, semi-isolated stretches of their historic range.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Catostomus discobolus+jarrovii" in FishBase. April 2014 version.
- Sublette, J.E., M.D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The Fishes of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Propst, D.L. and A.L. Hobbs. 1996. Distribution, Status, and Notes on the Biology on the Zuni Bluehead sucker, Catostomus discobolus yarrowi, in the Zuni River Drainage, New Mexico. Conservation Services Division, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Crabtree, C.B. and D.G. Buth. 1987. Biochemical systems of the catostomid genus Catostomus: assessment of C. clarki, C. plebius, and C. discobolus including the Zuni sucker, C.d. yarrowi. Copia 1987: 843-854)
- Arizona Game and Fish Department. 2002. Catostomus discobolus yarrowi. Unpublished abstract compiled and edited by the Heritage Data Management System, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ. 5 pp.