The brown bullhead
, Ameiurus nebulosus
, is a fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...
of the Ictaluridae
The Ictaluridae, sometimes called Ictalurids, are a family of catfish native to North America, where they are important food fish and sometimes as a sport fish. They include fish commonly known as bullheads, madtoms, channel catfish, and blue catfish....
family that is widely distributed in North America. It is a species of bullhead catfish and is similar to the black bullhead
The black bullhead, Ameiurus melas, is a species of bullhead catfish. Like other bullhead catfish, it has the ability to thrive in waters that are low in oxygen, brackish, turbid and/or very warm. It also has barbels located near its mouth, a broad head, spiny fins and no scales...
) and yellow bullhead
The yellow bullhead, is a species of bullhead catfish. Yellow bullhead are typically yellow-olive to slatey-black on the back and sometimes mottled depending on habitat. The sides are lighter and more yellowish while the underside of the head and body are bright yellow, yellow white, or bright...
). It was originally described as Pimelodus nebulosus
by Charles Alexandre Lesueur
Charles Alexandre Lesueur was a French naturalist, artist and explorer.Pictured here is the oil portrait by Charles Willson Peale of Charles-Alexandre Lesueur...
in 1819, and is also referred to as Ictalurus nebulosus
The brown bullhead is also widely known as the "mud pout", "horned pout" or "hornpout" or simply "mud cat", along with the other bullhead species.
The brown bullhead is important as a clan
A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a...
symbol of the Ojibwe group of Native Americans. In their tradition, the bullhead or "wawaazisii" is one of six beings that came out of the sea to form the original clans.
The brown bullhead thrives in a variety of habitats, including lakes and ponds with low oxygen and/or muddy conditions. In many areas of the United States, Brown Bullheads are opportunistic bottom feeders. They eat insects, leeches, snails, fish, clams, and many plants. They are also known to eat corn, which can be used as bait. Similar to other catfish, they spawn only after the temperature of the water has reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 °C) (cooler in the northern US) in June and July.
When caught in very clear water when the flesh is firm and reddish to pinkish, the hornpout is quite edible and delicious. Nevertheless, its genial cousins such as the channel catfish
Channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, is North America's most numerous catfish species. It is the official fish of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Tennessee, and is informally referred to as a "channel cat". In the United States they are the most fished catfish species with approximately 8...
and the blue catfish
The blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus, is one of the largest species of North American catfish. Blue catfish are distributed primarily in the Mississippi River drainage including the Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Arkansas rivers...
are better known for their consumption qualities. In most areas, they will not exceed two pounds in weight, with a current IGFA world's record of 7 lb 6oz , by Glenn Collacuro, Lake Mahopac NY, August 1st, 2009..
The fish has been introduced into many European countries, as well as Chile, Puerto Rico and New Zealand.
- Ameiurus nebulosus, German language; originally published in: Datz-Aquarienpraxis 11/2004, S. 10f.