Carpiodes cyprinus (Lesueur, 1817)
member of the Sucker Family (Catostmidae)
photo by Konrad Schmidt
In a Name?
(car-pee-oh´-deez) means "carp-like" in Latin
Do They Live?
The quillback is most common in rivers and their connected lakes in the southern half of Minnesota. It occurs less frequently in the northern drainages, but us absent from the upper Mississippi River and Lake Superior drainages. This species normally occurs in the more quiet waters of medium to low gradient, rivers including their sloughs and flood plain lakes.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Quillbacks are vacuum cleaners of the stream where the bottom is soft. So, they consume all kinds of bottom detritus (decaying matter), plant matter, and insect larvae, especially midge larvae. They probably consume as much dead matter as living matter. Larval quillbacks begin life eating waterfleas and other small plankton (floating microscopic plants and animals) from the water column.
Do They Reproduce?
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Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 23 October 2002