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Longnose Sucker The longnose sucker is widely distributed throughout North America. Its range is similar to the white sucker. This is the only sucker located in Alaska and Asia. It is found where temperatures are usually cold and the waters clear. Longnose are usually found in similar areas as white suckers, although they seem to be more adaptable to streams with moderate to high flow velocities.
Longnose suckers are reddish-brown to dark brassy green on the upper body. They can also be shades of gray to black and their belly is usually white. During spawn they develop a broad lateral band that is red in color. This sucker’s body is elongated and cylindrical. The head tapers into a long snout that overhands the mouth. Their mouth has large lips lined with small fleshy projections called papillae. The tail is forked with rounded lobes. Longnose suckers can reach lengths of two feet.
Spawning occurs from late spring to early summer. Preferred spawning sites are streams with gravel bottoms and cold water. However longnose suckers do not build nests, rather the fertilized eggs fall into crevices in the gravel. They typically spawn during daylight. The yellowish eggs take about two weeks to hatch. Longnose suckers reach sexual maturity around two to three years.
Primarily bottom feeders, longnose swim slowly along the bottom in search of invertebrates. Sometimes they feed on aquatic plants, algae and fish eggs.