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Hornyhead Chub

Photo by Konrad Schmidt

Hornyhead Chub

Nocomis biguttatus

Federal Status: None

State Status: Threatened

Dark Blue = Designated critical habitat
Light Blue = Historical records

Comments: The hornyhead chub gets its name from the bumpy tubercles that form on the head of the male during breeding season. There is a red spot behind the eye and small barbels at the corners of the mouth that help identify this species. During the spring breeding season the male constructs a mound of gravel that is 1-3 feet in diameter and a few inches above the streambed. The male then excavates shallow pits in the mound where spawning occurs and the eggs are mixed through the mounded gravel. The 5-7 inch long male drives away other male hornyhead chubs but other fish species are tolerated and will spawn at the same nest. The hornyhead chub is found near riffles in clear streams with permanent flows. Its range was reduced due to intensive cultivation, siltation and intermittent flows. It can be found in a few tributaries of the Marais des Cygnes River in Kansas. The hornyhead chub inhabits small streams in several states of the upper Midwest.