Creek Chub


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Common Name
Creek Chub
Category
Fish
ScientificName
Semotilus atromaculatus
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Osteichthyes
Order
Cypriniformes
Family
Cyprinidae
Genus
Semotilus
Species
atromaculatus
SubSpecies
 

 

Description
Small black spot at front base of upper (dorsal) fin; small, black spot where center line meets the tail; pointed snout; olive-brown above, dark stripe along back; silvery white belly; upper lip wider in middle than on either side; small barbel in groove above upper lip near corner of mouth; broad, dark lateral line; upper jaw reaches behind front of eye; slender body, heaviest forward, arched in front of dorsal fin
Size
3 – 6 in. ( 7.62 – 15.24 cm) long; maximum of 12 in. ( 30.48 cm)
Ecological Role
The creek chub eats both animals and plants (omnivore), although it rarely eats plant material. Larger chubs are a prey species to other fishes, such as the smallmouth bass. It is also a pioneer species, or one of the first species to occupy a stream. When the water in a stream gets low, the creek chub may be the only species surviving in a small isolated pool. It repopulates once the stream flows again. The creek chub is tolerant of adverse environmental conditions, such as low water flow and hot or cold water. The creek chub is one of the most common stream fish in eastern North America.
Fun Facts
The creek chub is often referred to as a minnow and belongs to the minnow family, Cyprinidae. It is a curious fish and will investigate whatever falls into the water, sometimes causing it to be caught by anglers. The male creek chub will sometimes let other fish lay eggs in his nest to lessen the chance that his eggs will be taken by a predator. It is a good baitfish. Semotilus (from the Greek Sema) means “banner,” referring to the dorsal fin. Ater means “black” and maculatus means “spotted,” referring to the fin spots. 
Food
Insects, small fish, some crayfish, worms, mollusks
Cover
 
Nest
 
Breeding
 
Eggs
 
Habitat
Gravelly and sandy pools of headwaters, creeks and small rivers; does not like streams with continuous strong flow; does not compete well with other fish; may be one of few types of fishes found near headwater
Kentucky Distribution
Statewide
Life Cycle
 
Life Span
7 years
Life Stage
 
Reproduction
 
Seasonal Changes
 
Spawning
Male, which develops tubercles, digs pit in flowing stream bottom using mouth or by pushing stones with his head; stands guard over pit while attracting females; spawning occurs over pit with eggs falling among rocks; male covers eggs with stones then digs another pit downstream of this one, nest eventually looks like a ridge of gravel; male defends nest; young work their way up through spaces between stones
Status
Common
Uses
 
Voice
 
Young
 
What We Can Do
 
Host
 
Diagnosis and Control
 
Interesting Facts
 
Contributed By
 
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