Razorback Sucker

Central America


Xyrauchen texanus


  • Commercial fishing
  • Habitat modification
  • Streamflow regulation
  • Introduction of non-native fish species

The Razorback Sucker is a Colorado endemic suckerfish that has a distinguished sharp-edged bulge on its back, earning its name of ‘humpback sucker’. Its pre-dorsal keel is what differentiates it from other suckers. This North American endangered freshwater fish can grow up to 3 feet in length and up to 6 kilograms in weight, with a lifespan of more than 40 years.

Population decline of the Razorback Sucker can be attributed to commercial fishing as well as habitat modification. Loss of freshwater species in its breeding area is caused by dam construction which limits its food source and brings them in competition with other fish species. The blocking of dams, on the other hand, restricts their movement and brings them in frequent contact with predatory fish species feeding on larvae and juveniles.