Animals

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Hogchoker For Kids

How many fun hogchoker facts do you know? Check your knowledge of this wonderful fish with this article, and share it with your friends!
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The hogchoker is one of the lesser-known flatfish in North America. It is called such because it was historically used to feed pigs and hogs, therefore, hog-choker. It is not a very big fish, coming up to just the size of a child's palm even as an adult. It is distinguished by its small body and mud-colored frame. This frame usually has dark stripes running across its body. Usually found in North American waters, this fish is threatened by habitat loss and human intervention. Though small, they thrive in waters of medium salinity, also called brackish waters. Although they enjoy inshore marine environments, they will occasionally enter fresh water and travel large distances upriver. They grow slowly and, like other flatfishes, prefer to dwell near to the bottom. Want to know and learn about this small yet wondrous fish? Then read on right ahead! You can also discover other unique and fantastic fish like the gollum fish and the anchovies. Happy reading!

Hogchoker

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Worms and crustaceans

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

N/A

How much do they weigh?

N/A

How long are they?

2-4 in (5-10 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Dark brown

Skin Type

Wet and slimy scales

What are their main threats?

Habitat loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Brackish water

Locations

Atlantic Coast (North America)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Actinopterygii

Scientific Name

Trinectes maculatus

Family

Achiridae

Genus

Trinectes

Hogchoker Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hogchoker?

Trinectes maculatus is a type of fish.

What class of animal does a hogchoker belong to?

The hogchoker, Trinectes maculatus, belongs to the class of fish.

How many hogchokers are there in the world?

The estimated population range of these marine fishes mostly feed on crustaceans and worms is unexplored.

Where does a hogchoker live?

The hogchoker is a tiny flatfish that can be found between Massachusetts through Panama near the Atlantic coasts of North America. The habitat is in brackish water and can be found in North Carolina in numerous estuaries and bays.

What is a hogchoker's habitat?

Hogchokers live in brackish or marine waters. The hogchoker is a marine flatfish that hides from predators by burrowing into bottom sediments and switching colors to mix with its environment. A hogchoker that has concealed itself is practically impossible to find.

Who does a hogchoker live with?

These fish are normally solitary, just like flounders species, hunting or waiting for prey on their own.

How long does a hogchoker live?

The longevity of these hogchoker species is about seven years.

How do they reproduce?

Very little is known about the reproduction of these hogchoker fish. Inshore waters are ideal for spawning from May to September. One eye is on either side of the head when a baby is born. The left eye moves over the crown of the head to a place beside the right eye as a larval.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these fresh-water species (common name hogchoker) having an elongated and flattened body is declared as the Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. But other flat-fishes like turbot have a Vulnerable conservation status.

Hogchoker Fun Facts

What does a hogchoker look like?

Hogchoker fishes are little flatfish with a right-facing profile. There are no pectoral fins, and pelvic fins are very tiny. The dorsal fin approaches the snout's tip—small-mouth with a downward slant. It has a dark brownish color on the sides and fins with many little black spots (which may be inconspicuous). On the darker side, there are often dark straight lines that are dark brown towards olive on the back. Dark patches and blotches cover the body and fins-cream to gray belly, typically with faint patches. The scales are extremely harsh on both sides. They blend in beautifully with such a dark brown body and thin black patterns on the upper side.

The hogchoker freshwater fish is supposed to be a right-handed flatfish as its eyes and mouth remain on the right side of the body when observed from above.
*Please note that this is an image of a flatfish, a relative of the hogchoker. If you have an image of a hogchoker please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

With their small mouths and both eyes on the right side of their faces, these flat-fish do not appear to be attractive.

How do they communicate?

There is relatively little knowledge of how hogchokers communicate with other hogchokers or other fish species. However, fish are known to interact with one another through body motions, also known as silent mechanisms.

How big is a hogchoker?

Hogchokers are little flatfish with a rounded shape. The length range of these fish is about 2-4 in (5-10 cm). However, they can grow up to 6 in (15.24 cm) in length. On the other hand, the flatfish plaice fish length range measures 18-24 in (45.7-61 cm). Therefore, if we compare the length of both fishes, hogchokers are much smaller than plaice species.

How fast can a hogchoker swim?

Although no statistical data exists to determine the actual speed of these hogchokers, flatfishes often glide in a horizontal position and float from one location to another in small sections.

How much does a hogchoker weigh?

The average body weight of these fishes, which are usually concealed themselves under the sand, is undescribed due to their secretive and isolated nature.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female species of these fish having small-mouth have no special title.

What would you call a baby hogchoker?

There is no specific title for baby fish of hogchokers.

What do they eat?

Hogchokers feed on crustaceans and worms. They search for prey by resting half-buried in the surface soil and peering up with both eyes.

Are they poisonous?

These fish with small mouths are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Hogchokers are occasionally sold in aquarium shops under fresh-water flounder and freshwater fluke. These fish have a distinct appearance and would make an excellent addition to any aquarium. When housed in an aquarium, their flattened, laterally compressed bodies create quite a show. But hogchoker care is quite difficult, particularly in the context of feeding. On the other hand, the golden tetra species are fascinating and look elegant in tanks.

Did you know...

Freshwater sole is another name for freshwater flounders. They can be found in both fresh-water and brackish streams.

The unusual name hogchoker comes from farmers who used to feed this fish to their hogs. The hogs would often have a hard time eating the fish’s scaly, bony body.

Although it is commonly referred to as a fresh-water flounder, none of those terms is truly appropriate for the hogchoker brackish-water species that belongs to the sole family instead of the flounder family. Instead, they sift over the sand for invertebrates like bug larvae and tiny crustaceans.

Do humans eat them?

The hogchoker is reputed to be a delectable delicacy, but its scales could be harsh if eaten from the tail through the head. Even in Chesapeake Bay, where it is abundant, it is of no economic use since it is so small.  They'd be discarded on beaches by fishermen because they're too bony for people to eat. These bony fish would be found and eaten by feral pigs, who would have difficulties swallowing them. On the other hand, herring is the most favorite edible species.

Do they bite?

Although these fish can bite, they don't have big teeth.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these chamois facts and coho salmon facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable African catfish coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of a flatfish, a relative of the hogchoker. If you have an image of a hogchoker please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

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