Northern Hog Sucker

The Northern Hog Sucker (Hypentelium nigricans) as the name implies is a member of the sucker family; however the Nothern part of the name is a bit misleading. Although Northern Hog Suckers do indeed live up north, as far north as Central Canada, they also live in the South all the way to the gulf coast.

The Northern Hog Sucker has a down-turned mouths which is used to graze on algae growing on rocks. Their bodies are dark and marbled with various shades of black and brown, often darker than how they appear in this picture. Aquarium fish tend to not be as dark as when first caught and that might be the case here.

They can be distinguished from the Alabama Hog Sucker by a couple of characteristics. The dorsal fin will have 11 soft rays and no spines and the head will be concave a bit between the eyes. This will distinguish it from the Alabama Hog Sucker which has a more restrictive range centered around where else but Alabama.

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