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Blue Sucker

Cycleptus elongatus

What do they look like?

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • female larger
  • Range mass
    1.8 to 4.5 kg
    3.96 to 9.91 lb
  • Average mass
    2.5 kg
    5.51 lb
  • Range length
    76 to 102 cm
    29.92 to 40.16 in

Where do they live?

What kind of habitat do they need?

  • Aquatic Biomes
  • benthic
  • rivers and streams
  • Range depth
    0.3 to 10 m
    0.98 to 32.81 ft

How do they grow?

How do they reproduce?

  • How often does reproduction occur?
    Blue suckers breed annually.
  • Breeding season
    Blue suckers breed from April to June.
  • Range number of offspring
    150,000 to 250,000
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    3 years
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    3 years

Blue sucker eggs develop inside the body of the females. Neither one of the parents invests time or energy into their young after females release the eggs. Adults and juveniles live in different habitats. ("Status Report on Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elongatus), a Candidate Endangered or Threatened Species", 1993; Burr and Garvey, 2006; Eitzmann, et al., 2007; "Species Profile: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources", 2012; Yeager and Semmens, 1987)

How long do they live?

  • Range lifespan
    Status: wild
    9 to 12 years

How do they behave?

  • Range territory size
    200 (high) km^2

Home Range

How do they communicate with each other?

What do they eat?

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • aquatic crustaceans
  • Plant Foods
  • algae

What eats them and how do they avoid being eaten?

What roles do they have in the ecosystem?

Do they cause problems?

Blue suckers have no known negative economic impacts on humans. ("Status Report on Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elongatus), a Candidate Endangered or Threatened Species", 1993)

How do they interact with us?

  • Ways that people benefit from these animals:
  • food

Are they endangered?

Blue suckers are considered Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List, and of special concern by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. More information on population distribution and densities is needed to further assess this species' conservation needs. The decline in their numbers appears to have been caused by pollution, buildup of sediment, overfishing, and building dams. Blue suckers also face competition from invasive species for resources and breeding habitat. ("Status Report on Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elongatus), a Candidate Endangered or Threatened Species", 1993; Burr and Garvey, 2006; Eitzmann, et al., 2007; "Species Profile: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources", 2012; Sutton, 2009)

Contributors

Ryan Acker (author), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Catherine Kent (editor), Special Projects, Jeremy Wright (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

References

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2012. "Species Profile: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources" (On-line). Accessed February 08, 2012 at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=AFCJC04010.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Status Report on Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elongatus), a Candidate Endangered or Threatened Species. North Dakota State Office: Ecological Services. 1993.

Burr, B., J. Garvey. 2006. Ecology of larval blue sucker (Cycleptus elongatus) in the Mississippi River. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 15: 291-300.

Daugherty, D., T. Bacula, M. Sutton. 2008. Reproductive Biology of Blue Sucker in a large Midwestern river. Applied Ichthyology, 24: 297-302.

Eitzmann, J., A. Makinster, C. Paukert. 2007. Distribution and growth of blue sucker in a Great Plains river, USA. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 14: 255-262. Accessed February 08, 2012 at http://web.missouri.edu/~paukertc/reprints/Blue%20sucker%20in%20Kansas%20River.pdf.

Mestl, G. 2010. Seasonal resource selection by blue suckers Cycleptus elongatus. Journal of Fish Biology, 76: 836-851.

Mestl, G. 2009. Seasonal use distributions and migrations of blue sucker in the Middle Missouri River, USA. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 18: 437-444.

Sutton, M. 2009. Blue sucker stock characteristics in the Wabash River Indiana-Illinois, USA. Fisheries Managment and Ecology, 16: 21-27.

Yeager, B., K. Semmens. 1987. Early Development of the Blue Sucker, Cycleptus elongatus. Copeia, 2: 312-316. Accessed February 08, 2012 at http://www.jstor.org.ezp.lib.rochester.edu/stable/1445766.

 
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Acker, R. 2013. "Cycleptus elongatus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed July 24, 2014 at http://www.biokids.umich.edu/accounts/Cycleptus_elongatus/

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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