The desert sucker gets its name from the way it feeds on aquatic vegetation and insects. It uses its thick cartilaginous lips to scrape and suck food from rocks and boulders along the bottom of the river. Desert suckers are very colorful during the spring spawning season, developing bright orange and black ‘racing stripes’ along their sides. They are considered a sensitive species in Utah, where they are only found in the Virgin River and its tributaries.