Common Name

Scientific Name

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

The bluehead sucker, Catostomus discobolus, is native to parts of Utah, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Specifically, the species occurs in the upper Colorado River system, the Snake River system, and the Lake Bonneville basin. In Utah, bluehead suckers have been reduced in numbers and distribution due to flow alteration, habitat loss/alteration, and the introduction of nonnative fishes. Consequently, the bluehead sucker is included on the Utah Sensitive Species List.

The bluehead sucker is a benthic (bottom dwelling) species with a mouth modified to scrape algae (the primary food of the bluehead sucker) from the surface of rocks. Members of the species spawn in streams during the spring and summer. Fast flowing water in high gradient reaches of mountain rivers has been identified as important habitat for bluehead sucker.


  • 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.