• Family: Catostomidae (Suckers)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: None
• Adult Size: Typically 18-24 inches, can reach 30 inches. Usually weigh 5-10 pounds can reach 15 pounds.
• Typical Foods: Feeds primarily on insect larvae and other aquatic invertebrates and some algae.
The black buffalo have a small sub-terminal (ending below tip of snout) mouth which helps separate them from the bigmouth buffalo which has a large terminal (ending at tip of snout) mouth. They have a smaller eye than the smallmouth buffalo and more slender body profile than either of the other two Ohio buffalo species. They are typically a dark gray or bronze-gray and are usually the darkest colored of the three species of buffalo found in Ohio. All species of buffalo have a long continuous dorsal fin and no spines in any of their fins. Buffalo look similar to common carp but are not closely related.
Habitat and Habits
Black buffalo prefer slower pools of rivers but are usually found in areas with some flow. This habitat preference is rather intermediate between the other two species of buffalo found in Ohio. Black buffalo are found in the Ohio River and larger tributaries to is such as the Scioto and Muskingum Rivers. They are less common than the other two species and are not found in Lake Erie like the other two.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Black buffalo spawn in April and May often in side channels or back waters off the edge of a main river channel. They scatter their eggs over the bottom and provide no further parental care.