Accession Number : ADA597457


Title :   Burrowing by Sailfin Catfish (Pterygoplichthys sp.): A Potential Cause of Erosion in Disturbed Environments


Corporate Author : ARMY ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES PROGRAM


Personal Author(s) : Ende, Oliver van den


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a597457.pdf


Report Date : Mar 2014


Pagination or Media Count : 10


Abstract : The purpose of this study is to quantify suckermouth catfish (Loricariidae) burrows in disturbed environments and to evaluate habitat factors associated with burrow densities. Burrows were sampled in central Florida, an area where sailfin catfishes (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys spp.) have long been established, but have been problematic only in recent years. Burrow densities were quantified for a variety of habitat types and were associated with substrate and shoreline characteristics. Suckermouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae), commonly called plecos, have been exported from tropical America as aquarium fishes for over a century (Sterba 1966). Numbers exported to North America have been substantial. During the period 1972-1974, Colombia alone exported more than 3.7 million plecos to the United States (Conroy 1975). No restrictions were placed on imports by US authorities and 15 genera appeared on a clean list of low risk wildlife. One genus of pleco, that of the sailfin catfishes, Pterygoplichthys spp., is now widespread throughout peninsular Florida (Nico and Fuller 2005, Nico et al. 2009). Sailfin catfishes attain large (and problematic) sizes in home aquaria (Sandford and Crow 1991) and can be cultured in outdoor ponds (Grier 1980). Consequent releases by hobbyists and escapes from tropical fish farms resulted in introduced populations of this fish in south Florida. Introductions occurred during the 1970s and 1980s and may have taken place much earlier (Cimbaro 2000, Hill 2001). Large populations were reported in the 1990s (e.g., Ludlow and Walsh 1991), but the group was still comparatively rare as recently as 1996-1998 (e.g., McPherson et al. 2000). Within a few years, however, populations and geographic range had grown substantially. By 2003, large numbers were observed in residential lakes and in drainage canals; commercial catches from Lake Okeechobee went from a few individuals per day to thousands of pounds per day (King 2004).


Descriptors :   *EROSION , *FISHES , *HABITATS , ARMOR , CANALS , DENSITY , DRAINAGE , ENVIRONMENTS , FLORIDA , GEOGRAPHY , LAKES , PONDS , POPULATION , RELEASE , SUBSTRATES , TROPICAL REGIONS


Subject Categories : Biology
      Ecology


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE