Ichthyomyzon castaneus - Girard, 1858
Chestnut Lamprey
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Ichthyomyzon castaneus Girard, 1858 (TSN 159725)
French Common Names: lamproie brune
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105804
Element Code: AFBAA01020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Lampreys
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Petromyzontida Petromyzontiformes Petromyzontidae Ichthyomyzon
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Ichthyomyzon castaneus
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Feb2012
Global Status Last Changed: 05Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (05Sep1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (07May2013)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S4), Arkansas (S4), Georgia (S3), Illinois (S3), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S2), Kansas (S1S2), Kentucky (S2), Louisiana (S4), Michigan (S4), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (S3), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (S1), North Dakota (SNR), Oklahoma (S4), Tennessee (S4), Texas (S3), Wisconsin (S4)
Canada Manitoba (S3S4), Ontario (S1?), Saskatchewan (S3S4)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes the Great Lakes (e.g., see Renaud et al. 1996), St. Lawrence River, and Mississippi River basins from Ontario, Quebec (Renaud and de Ville 2000), Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota south to Louisiana, and from eastern Tennessee west to eastern Kansas and Oklahoma; Red River (Hudson Bay basin), Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Minnesota, and North Dakota; Gulf Coast drainages from Mobile Bay, Georgia and Alabama, to Sabine Lake, Texas (Page and Burr 2011).

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. This species is locally common (Page and Burr 2011).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Range includes the Great Lakes (e.g., see Renaud et al. 1996), St. Lawrence River, and Mississippi River basins from Ontario, Quebec (Renaud and de Ville 2000), Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota south to Louisiana, and from eastern Tennessee west to eastern Kansas and Oklahoma; Red River (Hudson Bay basin), Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Minnesota, and North Dakota; Gulf Coast drainages from Mobile Bay, Georgia and Alabama, to Sabine Lake, Texas (Page and Burr 2011).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, ND, NE, OK, TN, TX, WI
Canada MB, ON, SK

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Jefferson (01073), Limestone (01083)
GA Bartow (13015), Catoosa (13047), Floyd (13115)*, Murray (13213), Pickens (13227), Walker (13295), Whitfield (13313)
IA Allamakee (19005)*, Appanoose (19007), Clinton (19045), Dallas (19049)*, Jackson (19097), Muscatine (19139), Winneshiek (19191)
KS Atchison (20005)*, Doniphan (20043)*, Wabaunsee (20197)*
KY Ballard (21007)*, Breckinridge (21027), Butler (21031)*, Calloway (21035)*, Fulton (21075), Livingston (21139)*, Logan (21141)*, Lyon (21143), Marshall (21157), McCracken (21145), Muhlenberg (21177), Ohio (21183), Trigg (21221)*, Union (21225)*
MS Claiborne (28021)*, Clay (28025)*, Copiah (28029)*, Itawamba (28057), Lowndes (28087)*, Monroe (28095)*, Montgomery (28097), Warren (28149)*
NE Otoe (31131), Richardson (31147)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Conasauga (03150101)+, Coosawattee (03150102)+, Oostanaula (03150103)+, Etowah (03150104)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+, Middle Coosa (03150106), Lower Coosa (03150107), Middle Tallapoosa (03150109), Lower Tallapoosa (03150110), Upper Alabama (03150201), Cahaba (03150202), Middle Alabama (03150203), Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+, Luxapallila (03160105)+*, Mulberry (03160109), Sipsey Fork (03160110), Locust (03160111)+, Upper Black Warrior (03160112), Middle Tombigbee-Chickasaw (03160201), Middle Pearl-Strong (03180002)*
04 Bad-Montreal (04010302)*, Lake Superior (04020300), Upper Fox (04030201), Wolf (04030202)*, Little Calumet-Galien (04040001), St. Joseph (04050001), Black-Macatawa (04050002), Kalamazoo (04050003), Upper Grand (04050004), Lower Grand (04050006), Thornapple (04050007), Pere Marquette-White (04060101), Muskegon (04060102), Manistee (04060103), Betsie-Platte (04060104), Huron (04090005)
05 Middle Green (05110003)+, Rough (05110004)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111), Lower Wabash (05120113), Lower White (05120202), Lower East Fork White (05120208), Upper Cumberland-Cordell Hull (05130106), Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202), Lower Cumberland (05130205)+, Red (05130206)+, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)+*, Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)+, Lower Ohio (05140206)+
06 Upper French Broad (06010105), Lower French Broad (06010107), Nolichucky (06010108), Watts Bar Lake (06010201), Lower Little Tennessee (06010204), Lower Clinch (06010207), Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Hiwassee (06020002), Sequatchie (06020004), Guntersville Lake (06030001), Wheeler Lake (06030002), Lower Elk (06030004), Pickwick Lake (06030005), Bear (06030006), Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001), Upper Duck (06040002), Lower Duck (06040003), Buffalo (06040004), Kentucky Lake (06040005)+, Lower Tennessee (06040006)+*
07 Upper St. Croix (07030001), Namekagon (07030002), Lower St. Croix (07030005), Rush-Vermillion (07040001), Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003), Trempealeau (07040005), La Crosse-Pine (07040006), Black (07040007), Lower Chippewa (07050005), Red Cedar (07050007), Coon-Yellow (07060001)+, Upper Iowa (07060002)+, Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003)*, Apple-Plum (07060005)+, Upper Wisconsin (07070001), Lake Dubay (07070002), Castle Rock (07070003), Lower Wisconsin (07070005), Kickapoo (07070006), Copperas-Duck (07080101)+, North Raccoon (07100006)+*, South Raccoon (07100007)+*, Bear-Wyaconda (07110001), The Sny (07110004), Peruque-Piasa (07110009), Lower Illinois-Senachwine Lake (07130001)*, Lower Illinois-Lake Chautauqua (07130003)*, Mackinaw (07130004), Lower Illinois (07130011)*, Cahokia-Joachim (07140101), Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105), Big Muddy (07140106)*, Whitewater (07140107), Middle Kaskaskia (07140202), Lower Kaskaskia (07140204)
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+, Upper St. Francis (08020202), Lower White-Bayou Des Arc (08020301), Lower Arkansas (08020401), Little Tallahatchie (08030201), Coldwater (08030204)*, Yalobusha (08030205)*, Ouachita Headwaters (08040101), Upper Ouachita (08040102), Little Missouri (08040103), Lower Ouachita-Bayou De Loutre (08040202), Upper Saline (08040203), Bayou D'arbonne (08040206), Lower Ouachita (08040207), Little (08040304), Lower Mississippi-Natchez (08060100)+*, Upper Big Black (08060201)+, Lower Big Black (08060202)+*, Bayou Pierre (08060203)+, Coles Creek (08060204)*, Amite (08070202)*, Tangipahoa (08070205), Upper Calcasieu (08080203)*, Liberty Bayou-Tchefuncta (08090201)
09 Elm-Marsh (09020107), Red Lake (09020303), Grand Marais-Red (09020306)
10 Keg-Weeping Water (10240001)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Independence-Sugar (10240011)+, Lower Republican (10250017)*, Middle Kansas (10270102)+*, Lower Kansas (10270104), Upper Chariton (10280201)+, Upper Marais Des Cygnes (10290101)*, Harry S. Missouri (10290105), Sac (10290106), Pomme De Terre (10290107), Lake of the Ozarks (10290109), Niangua (10290110), Lower Osage (10290111), Upper Gasconade (10290201), Lower Gasconade (10290203), Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101), Lower Missouri-Moreau (10300102), Lower Missouri (10300200)
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001), Bull Shoals Lake (11010003), Middle White (11010004), Buffalo (11010005), North Fork White (11010006), Upper Black (11010007), Current (11010008), Spring (11010010), Eleven Point (11010011), Little Red (11010014), Upper Cottonwood (11070202)*, Spring (11070207), Lower Neosho (11070209), Polecat-Snake (11110101), Dirty-Greenleaf (11110102), Illinois (11110103), Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104), Poteau (11110105), Frog-Mulberry (11110201), Lake Conway-Point Remove (11110203), Upper Little (11140107), Lower Little (11140109), Mckinney-Posten Bayous (11140201), Lower Sulphur (11140302), Caddo Lake (11140306)
12 Middle Sabine (12010002), Toledo Bend Reservoir (12010004), Lower Sabine (12010005), Upper Neches (12020001), Lower Neches (12020003), Lower Trinity-Kickapoo (12030202)
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
Reproduction Comments: Spawns in spring or summer. Larval stage lasts about 5-7 years. Larvae metamorphose late summer to winter. Adults spend summer feeding, overwinter, spawn during following summer, then die (Scott and Crossman 1973).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool, Riffle
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Adults live in medium and large rivers; larvae burrow in bottom of smaller tributaries in areas of moderate current, later move into more densely vegetated areas with softer bottom (Scott and Crossman 1973). Adults also occur in large reservoirs. Eggs are laid in a nest in the river bottom; may cover eggs with stones (Becker 1983).
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Adults are parasitic on fishes. Larvae filter feed on desmids, diatoms, protozoans, and other minute plankton (Scott and Crossman 1973).
Phenology Comments: Adults inactive in coldest months (Scott and Crossman 1973).
Length: 31 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Nonanadromous Lampreys

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat.
Mapping Guidance: Occupied locations that are separated by a gap of 10 km or more of any aquatic habitat that is not known to be occupied represent different occurrences. However, it is important to evaluate migrations and seasonal changes in habitat to ensure that spawning areas and nonspawning areas for a single population are not artificially segregated as different occurrences simply because there have been no collections/observations in an intervening area that may exceed the separation distance.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary. Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.
Date: 28Nov2001
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Feb2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, g.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 17Feb2012
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Atton, F.M. and J.J. Merkowsky. 1983. Atlas of Saskatchewan Fish. Saskatchewan Department of Parks and Renewable Resources, Fisheries Branch Technical Report 83-2. 281pp.

  • Case, B. 1970. Spawning behavior of the chestnut lamprey Ichthyomyzon castaneus. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 27(10):1872-1874.

  • Hall, J.D. 1963. An ecological study of the chestnut lam-prey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus (Girard), in the Manistee River, Michigan. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. PhD Thesis. Dis. Abstr. 24(2):901-902.

  • Hardisty, M. W. and I. C. Potter, eds. 1971. The Biology of Lampreys. Academic Press, London and New York. pp. 1-65.

  • Lanteigne, J. 1992. Status of the chestnut lamprey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 106(2):14-18.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Renaud, C. B., S. C. Ribey, and F. Chapleau. 1996. Four records of the chestnut lamprey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, new to Ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist 110:450-453.

  • Renaud, C. B., and N. de Ville. 2000. Three records of the chestnut lamprey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, new to Quebec. Canadian Field-Naturalist 114:333-335.

  • Renaud, C.B., S.C. Ribey, and F. Chapleau. 1996. Four records of the Chestnut Lamprey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, new to Ontario. Can. Field-Nat., 110(3):450-453.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Scott, W. B., and E. J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin 184. 966 pp.

  • Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman. 1979. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Bull. 84. 966pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Becker, G. C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 1,052 pp.

  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 960 pp.

  • Burr, B. M., and M. L. Warren, Jr. 1986. Distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Scientific and Technical Series No. 4, Frankfort, Kentucky. 398 pp.

  • Cross, F. B., and J. T. Collins. 1995. Fishes in Kansas. Second Edition, revised. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History. xvii + 315 pp.

  • Douglas, N. H. 1974. Freshwater fishes of Louisiana. Claitor's Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 443 pp.

  • Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee. xiv + 681 pp.

  • Fago, D. 2000. Relative abundance and distribution of fishes in Wisconsin. Fish Distribution Database to year 2000. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

  • Harlan, J. R., E. B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa. 323 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

  • Mettee, M. F., P. E. O'Neil, and J. M. Pierson. 1996. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Oxmoor House, Birmingham, Alabama. 820 pp.

  • Pflieger, W. L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation. Columbia, Missouri. viii + 343 pp.

  • Robison, H. W. and T. M. Buchanan. 1988. Fishes of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Arkansas. 536 pp.

  • Smith, P. W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. 314 pp.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996a. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

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