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The yellow bullhead
, is a species of bullhead catfish
Ameiurus is a genus of catfishes in the family Ictaluridae. It contains the three common types of bullhead catfish found in waters of the United States, the black bullhead , the brown bullhead , and the yellow bullhead , as well as other species, such as the white catfish Ameiurus is a genus of...
. 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 white. The rear edge of its caudal fin may be rounded or nearly straight. The yellow bullhead is distinguished from the brown bullhead and black bullhead by its white barbels.
The yellow bullhead is a voracious scavenger
Scavenging is both a carnivorous and herbivorous feeding behavior in which individual scavengers search out dead animal and dead plant biomass on which to feed. The eating of carrion from the same species is referred to as cannibalism. Scavengers play an important role in the ecosystem by...
typically feeding at night on a variety of plant and animal material, both live and dead, including small fish, crayfish, insects, snails, and worms. Its habitat includes river pools, backwaters, and sluggish current over soft or mildly rocky substrate in creeks, small to larger rivers, and shallow portions of lakes and ponds usually preferring clear water. The yellow bullhead may grow to 18 inches and weigh up to 2 pounds and sometimes more.On average, the yellow bullhead can live up to 7 years.
Spawning begins in May and June with both sexes participating in nest building. The nest may be under a log or stone or in a similarly enclosed burrow. The female will lay 2,000 to 7,000 eggs. The eggs hatch within 5 to 10 days. The parents guard the fry until July or August. Yellow bullhead range throughout the central and eastern US from central Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...
, north into North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....
, and east through the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...
region to the east coast. They are considered a "trash fish" typically, and seldom sought for sport, although they fight relatively hard for their size.