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Fish

Native and Exotic Lampreys

  

Family: Petromyzontidae (lamprey)

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology

5 species of lamprey inhabit the Great Lakes watershed. These lamprey species may be distinguished by the form of the dorsal fin(s), number of body segments, and teeth. Larval (young) lamprey are generally distinguished by their pigment patterns (color). Although both the native chestnut and silver lampreys are parasitic on fish as adults, only the invasive sea lamprey has serious impacts on fish populations.

Distribution and Habitat

N = Native, I= Introduced (exotic), X = Extinct, P = Extirpated

Image/Link
Scientific Name
Common Name
Lake Superior
Lake Michigan

Lake Huron

Lake Erie
Lake Ontario
Habitat
chestnut lamprey Ichthyomyzon castaneus chestnut lamprey   N       tributaries and open lake
northern brook lamprey Ichthyomyzon fossor northern brook lamprey N N N N   stream/creek
silver lamprey Ichthyomyzon unicuspis silver lamprey N N N N N river/littoral/benthic
American brook lamprey Lampetra appendix American brook lamprey N N N N N stream/creek

sea lamprey

Petromyzon marinus sea lamprey I I I I N tributaries and open lake, euryhaline

Table modified from "The Life of the Lakes: A Guide to the Great Lakes Fishery" MI Sea Grant Extension, Michigan State University.

Species Profiles

Ichthyomyzon castaneus - chestnut lamprey

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.   Profile - Natural History of Minnesota Fishes
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology

Native. Larvae filter feed on and in the bottom. Parasitic adult. Adult size: 30cm.

Chestnut lamprey photoPhoto of Chestnut Lamprey mouthPhoto depicting parasitic behaviour of chestnut lamprey

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. Natural History of Minnesota Fishes

1 of 6 chestnut lamprey photos inthe UM collection

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

 

Ichthyomyzon fossor - northern brook lamprey

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology Native, freshwater, non-parasitic. Adult size: 15cm.

1 of 3 northern brook lamprey photos inthe UM collection2nd of 3 northern brook lamprey photos inthe UM collection

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

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Lampetra appendix - American brook lamprey

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. Profile - Natural History of Minnesota Fishes
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology

Small to medium cool, clear streams. Native, freshwater, non-parasitic. Larvae filter feed on or in the bottom. Adults do not eat. Adult size: 10 inches (20cm).

American brook lamprey photoPhoto of American brook lampry mouth

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. Natural History of Minnesota Fishes

1 of 3 American brook lamprey photos inthe UM collection2nd of 3 American brook lamprey photos in the UM collection

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

 

Petromyzon marinus - sea lamprey

Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteFact Sheet - MN Sea Grant
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteProfile - WI Sea Grant
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteScientific Profile - Fishes of Wisconsin
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Profile - USGS Nonindigenous Species Database
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Sea Lamprey Control - Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Interactive Educational Videos - Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Bird icon indicates a link to a non-GLERL NOAA siteAccess to Scientific Research - SGNIS
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.U of M Fish Collection Database
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Fish Field Notes
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.GLIN: Sea lamprey
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Inland Fishes of New York
GLANSIS

Invasive, fresh or salt water, parasitic. Adult size: 55cm.
Diagram of the Sea Lamprey life cycle

Drawing - sea lampreyPhoto sea lamprey on fishPhoto sea lamprey mouth

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Sea lamprey fishtank - Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Additional drawings/artwork:
GLERL Photo Gallery
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Sea lamprey fishtank - Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Inland Fishes of New York
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.USGS Nonindigenous Species Database

Additional Photos:
GLERL Photo Gallery
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Sea lamprey fishtank - Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Globe icon indicates a link to a non-NOAA siteGLNPO - Great Lakes Invasives
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.USGS Nonindigenous Species Database


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