The initial purpose of this work was to study the relationship between Pantosteus plebeius (Baird and Girard), the Rio Grande mountain-sucker, and Catostomus commersoni (Lacépède ), the common white sucker, in Jemez Creek drainage, Sandoval County, New Mexico. Because insufficient information on Catostomus commersoni could be obtained, the food and feeding habits of Pantosteus plebeius were studied as an alternative.
Mountain-suckers were captured and observed in Jemez Creek drainage. The intestinal contents of 145 specimens were examined in detail. The intestinal contents of other specimens were examined cursorily.
Pantosteus plebeius are omnivorous and they use a pair of cartilaginous jaw ridges to scrape Aufwuchs (attached organisms) from submerged rocks. The animal portion of their food consisted of aquatic invertebrates and postlarval fish of their own species. The plant portion of their food consisted of diatoms, filamentous blue-green algae, and the filamentous green alga, Cladophora.
Because the area has been highly disturbed, the streams within Jemez Creek watershed often carry excessive loads of sediment. During recession of high water, sand and silt are deposited upon the Aufwuchs and Pantosteus plebeius ingest this inorganic material with their food, Had the original problem been to study food habits, it would have been desirable to work in some less disturbed area.
UNM Biology Department
First Committee Member (Chair)
William Jacob Koster
Second Committee Member
Loren David Potter
Third Committee Member
William Wayne Johnson
Fourth Committee Member
William George Degenhardt
White, James A.. "Food And Feeding Habits Of The Rio Grande Mountain-Sucker, Pantosteus Plebeius (Baird And Girard)." (1972). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/biol_etds/363