|Black Bullhead (Ameiurus melas)|
A smaller member of the catfish family, the black bullhead is very popular due primarily to its ﬁne culinary appeal. It is often stocked in farm ponds and raised commercially.
IdentificationAlthough the name would imply something else, the “black” bullhead may actually be yellowish green, dark green, olive, brown, or black on the back; bronze or green on the sides; and bright yellow or white on the belly. The entire body possesses a lustrous sheen. Only the young and spawning males are truly black.
Distinguishing the black bullhead from the brown or the yellow bullhead can be done by noting the rear edge of the pectoral ﬁn in the latter two, which have a spine that is serrated with numerous sharp, thorny protrusions; those found on the spine of the black bullhead’s pectoral ﬁn are much less prominent and may be absent altogether. The black bullhead has dark chin barbels that may be black-spotted, a chubby body, and a squarish tail.