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

Northern Hog Sucker Hypentelium nigricans

Catostomidae (Suckers)
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 241 bioassessment sites, 10 rapid fish bioassessment sites, 94 fisheries assessment sites, and 7 fisheries presence-only assessment sites. In total, it was collected at 343 distinct sites, or 23.8% of the 1442 total sites monitored by the bioassessment program. It is the 23rd most commonly collected species.

The Northern Hog Sucker was collected in 571 bioassessment sampling sessions and 285 fisheries assessment sessions. It was present in 10 rapid bioassessment sessions and 7 presence-only sessions.

The biological assessment program has collected a total of 27,433 individual Northern Hog Sucker specimens, ranking it the #18 most collected fish.

Species Characteristics

The hog sucker is not physically appealing, and its body conformation is disproportionately shaped. Its body is mottled brownish with a large, bony head, squarish in cross-section, with the interspace between the eyes broad and curved inward. Its eyes are closer to the gill cover rear margin than to the snout. The tapered body and tail are very slender. The dorsal fin is short with 10 to 11 rays. Lips are thick and covered with wart-like bumps. The air bladder has two chambers. Adults are small, usually 8-15 inches long, and weigh from one-third to 1 1/2 pounds.

Species Distribution Maps

HUC12 watersheds where this species has been found