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Razorback Sucker (Xyrauchen texanus)

The Razorback Sucker or Xyrauchen texanus is arguably one of the ugliest freshwater fish in the world.  This ancient endangered species has a large and abrupt bump in between its dorsal fin and head.  This strange bump gives it another nickname, the Humpback Sucker.

These fish are found in Colorado and other areas in Western North America.  Razorback Suckers can grow to about 3-1/2' (1m) and can weigh up to 14lbs (6kg).  They are often brownish black with a yellowish color on their underbellies.  These Suckers can live quite a long time, over 40 years is not too uncommon.  Unfortunately, habitat destruction, introduction of new species and the rerouting of waterways has pushed this fish to the brink of extinction.  

The Razorback Sucker spawns in the later winter to early spring on the gravel bottom where the eggs easily attach.  One female will mate with as many as twelve males.  Once born, these freshwater fish feed on insect larvae, plankton and algae.   You can check out the Razorback Sucker in the video below...

One amazing fact about the Razorback Sucker is their "third eye".  Portions of this fish's retina is very receptive to UV rays.  Normally this fish is too deep for these rays to penetrate, but when the Razorback Sucker is in the shallow spawning they use this portion of their retina to flash reflected sunlight and warn other males to stay away.  They do this by rolling their eyes downward revealing this strange "third eye".

If you have any additional information or questions about the Razorback Sucker fish just leave us a comment below.

1 comment:

Hector said...

What other types of related fish (to the Razorback Sucker) are found in Colorado or North America?

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