Moxostoma macrolepidotum (Le Sueur, 1817)
member of the Sucker Family (Catostmidae)
St. Louis River, Carlton County, Minnesota 17 September 1997
photo by Konrad Schmidt
photo by William Schmid
In a Name?
(Mox-aus´-toe-mah) means a "sucking type mouth" in Greek
Do They Live?
Shorthead redhorse are found in lakes, streams, and rivers throughout the state. They are especially abundant in Lake of the Woods and are the only redhorse species that occurs in the Lake Superior drainage. They prefer water ranging from clear to moderately turbid (cloudy) with bottoms of sand, gravel, and rock. It is common to find this fish living with silver redhorse, blackside darters, smallmouth bass, golden redhorse, hornyhead chubs, and central stonerollers.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Of all the members of the sucker family in Minnesota, shortheads are the most insectivorous (insect eating). Their main diet is insect larvae that they glean from the stream bottom. They also consume fair numbers of waterfleas, copepods, and sideswimmers, along with a smattering of worms and other small invertebrates. Unlike other suckers, they eat very little plant matter or detritus (decaying plant matter).
Do They Reproduce?
Permission is granted for the non-commercial educational or scientific use of the text and images on this Web document. Please credit the author or authors listed below.
Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
and William D. Schmid
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