his is a guide on identification for the Ameiurus,
Ictalurus and the monotypic genus Pylodictis
found throughout the North American continent.
Black blotch at dorsal fin base. Can be mottled,
short, rounded anal fin. Relatively large eye.
Bullhead. Mottled version, Eno River,
NC. It can be confusing when you find populations
like this, but understanding range maps and
the fact that Spotted Bullheads (Ameiurus
serracanthus) are hundreds of miles away
will help. Short, rounded anal fin, around 19
anal fin rays. Relatively large eye. Black blotch
at dorsal fin base.
Catfish. I see this misidentified the
most out of all Catfish in North America. Key:
Moderately forked caudal fin with short, rounded
anal fin. No spots as in most juvenile Channel
Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). The
largest of the "Bullheads", White
Catfish are in the Genus Ameiurus along
with the Black, Yellow, Brown, Flat, Snail and
Bullhead. Black chin barbels (lower
4), sometimes a white crescent marked shape
on base of caudal fin. Rounded caudal fin. Dark
pigment between the fin rays is also useful,
not always, but it's a good supplemental ID
character (Zach Alley 2021).
Bullhead. White or yellow chin barbels,
smaller eye than other Bullheads. Sometimes
yellow in appearance, normally on the flanks
Bullhead. More of a brown appearance
but can vary greatly due to water conditions.
Brown chin barbels, sometimes mottled. Caudal
fin squared. Larger eye than the Yellow Bullhead.
Bullhead. One of the trio of Bullheads
that are easily identified by a black blotch
at the base of the dorsal fin. Only Flat, Snail
and Spotted Bullheads have this black blotch.
Mottled appearance in some populations, flat
head (not always on larger individuals). Most
often confused with the Snail Bullhead (Ameiurus
Flat Bullhead's however will have a slightly
longer anal fin with more rays. The anal fin
is also more squared off than the Snail Bullhead's
rounded anal fin
Bullhead. Small range (FL, GA, AL),
black blotch at dorsal fin base, spotted body,
very short anal fin, rounded.
Catfish. Can grow quite large. Blue
appearance, barber like comb-anal fin, straight
edged. Moderately to deeply forked caudal
Catfish. Juvenile - Blue appearence
normally, barber like "comb" anal
fin, straight edged and not rounded. Moderately
to deeply forked caudal fin.
Catfish. Notice the deeply forked
tail and a more rounded than straight edged
anal fin. Spots are not always present on
Channel Catfish, even in juveniles.
Catfish. Lower jaw sticks
out beyond upper jaw. Flattened head. Rounded
caudal fin or slightly notched.
Catfish. Juvenile: White
colored upper lobe on caudal fin, mottled
appearance as juveniles. Lower
jaw projecting beyond upper lip in larger