Black Redhorses live in streams that have gravel bottoms and permanent flow of clear, cool water. Usually they are found in deeper "runs" (places where the water flows rapidly, but smoothly) rather than in quiet pools or turbulent riffles. They feed on aquatic insects, mainly fly larvae. Spawning occurs in April or May when water temperatures are above 60 degrees F. Eggs are deposited on clean gravel bottoms in the current, just upstream from riffles.
The Black Redhorse is now confined to Spring River and Shoal Creek (Cherokee County) although nineteenth century reports suggest it occurred more widely in the Arkansas basin and possibly in the Marais des Cygnes.