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Santa Ana Sucker (Catostomus santaanae) by Kai Palenscar

Detailed Description

The Santa Ana Sucker (Catostomus santaanae) is a species of freshwater fish native to Southern California, particularly the Santa Ana River watershed. Here's a description of the Santa Ana Sucker:

Physical Characteristics:

Size: Santa Ana Suckers are typically small, with adults usually ranging from 3 to 5 inches in length, although they can grow up to 8 inches.
Coloration: They have a mottled brown or olive-green body with a pale belly. Their body can sometimes have a yellowish or golden hue.
Shape: Their body is elongated and slightly compressed laterally, with a rounded snout and a small, terminal mouth.
Fins: They have a single dorsal fin, two pectoral fins, two pelvic fins, one anal fin, and a forked caudal (tail) fin.

Santa Ana Suckers are found in a variety of freshwater habitats, including streams, rivers, and creeks, particularly in areas with rocky or gravelly bottoms.
They prefer clear, cool, and well-oxygenated water with a moderate current.
They are often found in shallow riffles or pools with some vegetation or cover, such as submerged logs or overhanging vegetation.

Santa Ana Suckers are typically active during the day and are known to be bottom-feeders, consuming a variety of small invertebrates, algae, and plant matter.
They are social fish and are often found in groups or schools, especially during the breeding season.
They are known to be relatively hardy and adaptable, which contributes to their ability to thrive in various freshwater habitats.
Conservation Status:

Santa Ana Suckers are considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
However, like many freshwater fish species, they face threats from habitat destruction, pollution, and invasive species.
Conservation efforts focus on protecting and restoring their natural habitats, as well as managing water resources to ensure their survival.
Overall, the Santa Ana Sucker is a small but important species in the freshwater ecosystems of Southern California, playing a role in both the food web and the health of their habitats.


Public Domain.

Kai Palenscar, Fish Biologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife took this photo while collaborating with the USGS CAWSC