Amia calva

Bowfin – Amia calva
FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
AmiidaeAmia calvaLinneaus1766Bowfin

Amia calva

Unique Characters:  Long, stout body with paired fins placed low on body and far apart.  Long dorsal fin that extends for more than half the body.

Amia calva - Gular Plate
Bowfin – Amia calva – Gular Plate

Similar Species:

Northern Snakehead Channa argus. Although not documented from North Carolina, this invasive species is often confused with the Bowfin. The snakehead can be recognized by its long anal fin and pelvic fins set close to the head.

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Image from U.S. Geological Survey (Artist: Susan Trammell;