Common Name
RAZORBACK SUCKER

Scientific Name
XYRAUCHEN TEXANUS

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The razorback sucker, Xyrauchen texanus, is a Federally listed endangered fish native to the Colorado River system. The razorback sucker has been greatly impacted by humans, and it is now extremely rare in Utah and throughout its range. The major impacts to the razorback sucker have come from: 1) impoundments of rivers in the Colorado River system, which impede natural flow and temperature regimes, as well as impede fish movements, and 2) competition and predation from nonnative fish species introduced by man.

The razorback sucker eats mainly algae, zooplankton, and other aquatic invertebrates. The species prefers slow backwater habitats and impoundments. In fact, the largest current concentration of razorback suckers can be found in Lake Mohave (an impoundment), along the Arizona - Nevada border. The species spawns from February to June, and each female may deposit over 100,000 eggs during spawning. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other agencies are currently working together to increase razorback sucker numbers and prevent the species from becoming extinct.

Sources:

  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.

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