Quillback – (FISH-freshwater) See facts

Name of animal-plant: Quillback

Species name: Carpiodes cyprinus

The Quillback is a large, ectothermic, deep-bodied fish found throughout North America. It has a small head, humped back and deeply forked caudal fin. The compressed body of the Quillback makes it look flattened when viewed from the side. The Quillback has a subterminal mouth with no barbels, and no nipple-like protrusions on the bottom lip. It has large, reflective, silver cycloid scales that are responsible for giving the Quillback its characteristic silver color. They have a white belly with yellow or orange lower fins. The tail and dorsal fin are usually gray or silver.

The Quillback gets its name from the long quill that is formed via the first several fin rays of the dorsal fin. Quillback are typically 15-20 inches on average, weighing between 1 and 4 pounds. However, they can grow up to 26 inches and weigh 10 pounds. The Quillback Carpsucker has a nearly straight, hyper-sensitive lateral line, composed of at least 37 lateral line scales. This helps the fish locate predators and prey.


Animal type: FISH

A fish is any member of a group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits. They form a sister group to the tunicates, together forming the olfactores. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups. Tetrapods emerged within lobe-finned fishes, so cladistically they are fish as well. However, traditionally fish are rendered paraphyletic by excluding the tetrapods (i.e., the amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals which all descended from within the same ancestry). Because in this manner the term “fish” is defined negatively as a paraphyletic group, it is not considered a formal taxonomic grouping in systematic biology. The traditional term pisces (also ichthyes) is considered a typological, but not a phylogenetic classification.

Subcategory: freshwater


All animals and plants are given a species name based on a technical term in biological taxnomy. The species name consists of two words and is based on Latin.


The first part of the name identifies the genus to which the species belongs and  the second part identifies the species within the genus. In this animals case it is: Carpiodes cyprinus

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Photos by Ron’s Aquarium Photos