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Roanoke Hogsucker

Roanoke Hogsucker

The Roanoke Hogsucker (Hypentelium roanokense) forms part of the ray-finned freshwater fish in the Catostomidae family. Native to the United States, occurring in the middle Roanoke River Basin of North Carolina and Virginia.

Description of the Roanoke Hogsucker

Roanoke Hogsucker

A medium sized slender bodied minnow with a large, square, bony head that may easily be mistaken for the Northern Hogsucker. Generally, have mottled olive-brown bodies becoming whitish on the belly. Reach from 3 to 6 inches in length.

Dark crossbar saddles occur on their backs. Their large heads seem wider than their tapering bodies. They have highly protrusible lips covered with bumps. While their eyes seem much closer to the rear edge of the gill cover then to the tip of their snout.

Meanwhile they have large pectoral fins and short upper dorsal fins. While the lateral line extends from the nape to the forked tail fin.

The four main distinguishing factors between the Northern Hogsucker and the Roanoke Hogsucker include that the Roanoke has light horizontal lines on their back and sides, poorly developed dark saddles between the head and dorsal fin, 41 scales on their lateral line and 31 pectoral fin rays.

Biology of the Roanoke Hogsucker

Generally, found on the bottom of freshwater river ecosystems, cool and warm streams, or fast flowing rocky streams and sandy silty bottomed pools. Although they inhabit many different environments.


Occurs in the Dan River Drainage system of the upper and middle Roanoke River Basin of Virginia and North Carolina. However, also been found in several small tributaries of the Ararat River and upper Yadkin-Pee Dee River system in North Carolina and Virginia.

Management and Conservation

The Roanoke Hogsucker has a limited range. Therefore, considered significantly rare by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program. However, no immediate danger exists on populations, but this may quickly change, if their habitat receives no protection from humans. Meanwhile, the Roanoke Hogsucker receives protection under the state Endangered Species Act. Therefore, they may not be collected or killed without a permit from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.


Other species in the Hypentelium genus

Northern Hogsucker (Hypentelium nigricans)

Alabama Hogsucker (Hypentelium etowanum)

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Roanoke Hogsucker

by Paula Goble time to read: 2 min




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