Iowa DNR
River & Stream Biological Monitoring
Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Surveys
Physical Habitat Assessments

Suckermouth Minnow Phenacobius mirabilis

Cyprinidae (Minnows)
Trophic Class
Benthic Invertivore
Is Exotic to Iowa?
Is Lithophilous Spawner?
Is Hybrid?
State Listing Status
Not Listed
Assessment Program Statistics

This species was found at 336 bioassessment sites, 24 rapid fish bioassessment sites, 46 fisheries assessment sites, and 5 fisheries presence-only assessment sites. In total, it was collected at 396 distinct sites, or 29.4% of the 1349 total sites monitored by the bioassessment program. It is the 17th most commonly collected species.

The Suckermouth Minnow was collected in 665 bioassessment sampling sessions and 62 fisheries assessment sessions. It was present in 24 rapid bioassessment sessions and 5 presence-only sessions.

The biological assessment program has collected a total of 12,762 individual Suckermouth Minnow specimens, ranking it the #26 most collected fish.

Species Characteristics

Formerly named the Plains Suckermouth Minnow, this cyprinid has an olive-green back, dusky-silver sides, and silvery-white belly. Distinctive features are the lower lip, which has thick fleshy projections on each side, and the upper jaw that is separated from the snout by a obvious groove. A greenish lateral band has a faint gold line dorsally and ends in an unique elongated spot. The complete lateral band has 43 to 51 scales. Dorsal and pelvic fins have 8 rays, while the anal has 7 rays, and the pectoral has 14. The snout overhangs a sub-terminal mouth, and there is no barbel. Slightly hooked pharyngeal teeth are supported on slender arches and arranged in a 4-4 pattern.

Species Distribution Maps

HUC12 watersheds where this species has been found