Black Bullhead Catfish Ameiurus melas

Black Bullhead Catfish
Black Bullhead Catfish
Black Bullhead Catfish
The Black Bullhead Catfish is native to freshwater, particularly low-oxygen and brakish waters, of central USA from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast and including adjacent parts of southern Canada and northern Mexico. It is also an invasive species in Europe, including the UK. The largest of the bullheads, it grows to some 30cm long but can be twice that. It has no scales but has taste receptors on its body as well as on its 8 barbels to sense food in the dark.
The body of the Black Bullhead can be brown or black but the lower chin barbels are black, unlike those of the Brown or Yellow Bullheads in the same genus, the chest is tan (not white) and it has a tan crest before the tail fin, unlike the other two. The tail of all the bullheads is square-ended, unlike the Channel and Blue Catfish of North America which have forked tails.