Spotted Bullhead
Photo by N. Burkhead
Juvenile from Suwannee River, Levy Co., FL
Collected December 1989

Ameiurus serracanthus (Yerger & Relyea 1968)

Identification: The Spotted Bullhead is gray or blue-black above with a yellow-gold cast, gray to white below, and covered with gray-white spots. The fins are edged in black, and there is a large dark blotch at the base of the dorsal fin. The pectoral spine has 15-20 sawlike teeth on its rear edge. The anal fin is short and rounded with 20-23 rays. The first gill arch has 12-14 rakers. To 10 3/4 in. (28 cm) total length.

Range: Spotted Bullheads live in streams on the Gulf Coastal Plain in the Suwannee, St. Marks, Ochlockonee, Apalachicola, and St. Andrews Bay drainages of northern Florida, southern Georgia, and southeastern Alabama. The Spotted Bullhead is uncommon.

Habitat: Most Spotted Bullheads are found in current in deep rock- or sand-bottomed pools of small to medium swift rivers. The species is also found in impoundments.

Similar species: The Spotted Bullhead is the only North American catfish with light round spots on a dark body.

Spotted Bullhead map
Distribution Map