Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosos Le Sueur)

This fish has been brought into Europe by human hand in the 19th century. It was thought to be a large sort of catfish, but proved to be a dwarf version.
The brown bullhead arrived in Hungary in 1902 and soon spread in all our waters. Untill the 60’s they were quite common, but recently their numbers have dwindled. It likes slow rivers and lakes with a silty bottom, where the water warms up in summertime. Large populations can be found in the Alföld region, smaller ones on the Dunántúl. In spring and fall they can be found in the shallow waters, during the summer they spend their time in the deeper parts. These fish are mostly active by night. It’s body is massive, grows to about 20-25 cm and weights up to 1 kg.
It resembles a catfish, but it has 4 pairs of feelers around its mouth. Its dorsal and breast fins boast sharp spikes that have a painfull sting. The head is large compared to the body, and its mouth is as wide as the head, its eyes are small. The tail fin is big, slightly cut.

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There are no scales covering its body. The coloring can change according to its habitat and age. Its back and head are dark shades of brown, the lower part of its sides get a yellowish tint near the belly, which is whiteish yellow. The spawning season starts in april and lasts untill may, the eggs are placed into selfmade pits. Both parents guard the eggs untill they hatch. The younglings start by feeding on zooplanktons and become omnivores as they grow. This fish is a menace to all other creatures, as it eats their eggs and can do enormous damage to the fish population. It’s meat tastes very good and is sought after on the markets.

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