Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheets

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file icon Channa argusTooltip 04/07/2020 Hits: 46
SYSTEM
Freshwater
 
COMMON NAMES
English: northern snakehead; amur snakehead; eastern snakehead; ocellated snakehead
 
DESCRIPTION
The body of snakeheads is torpedo-shaped, which tapers towards the tail. They have a single, long dorsal fin, a long anal fin, and a small head with a large mouth (Cudmore & Mandrak 2006). Northern snakeheads are cylindrical fish that can grow up to 85 centimeters in length (Okada 1960, in Courtenay and Williams, 2004) however, in Russia there have been reports of captured specimens reaching 1.5 meters total length (Courtenay and Williams 2004). As the name implies, the scaled head of the fish looks like a snake; they have a large mouth with sharp teeth, a truncated, not rounded tail and are easily identified by dark irregular blotches along their sides (Sea Grant Pennsylvania 2007) on a background of golden tan to pale brown. This fish is capable of darkening its background colors to the point of almost obscuring the blotches. There is a dark stripe from just behind the eye to the upper edge of the operculum with another dark stripe below from behind the orbit extending to the lower quadrant of the operculum. Coloration of juveniles is virtually the same as in adults, a characteristic atypical for many snakehead species.
 
NATIVE RANGE
WORLD: China; Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of; Russian Federation
 
KNOWN INTRODUCED RANGE
ASEAN: Cambodia; Thailand; Viet Nam
WORLD: Canada; Czech Republic; Hong Kong; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Republic Of; Nigeria; Slovakia; Turkmenistan; United States; Uzbekistan
 
PATHWAY
Release - Fishery in the wild; Release in nature for use
Escape - Live food and live baits; Pet/aquarium/terrarium species
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
The northern snakehead is a popular aquarium fish in Europe and Japan, however, because of their highly predacious nature snakeheads have not had a large following of interested hobbyists in the USA (Courtenay & Williams 2004). Some introductions are believed to be the result of intentional release of aquarium fish as they are very expensive to feed and soon outgrow their aquaria (Courtenay & Williams 2004). Many introductions of the northern snakehead are believed to be the result of intentional release of fish obtained from the live food trade (Courtenay & Williams 2004). The northern snakehead has been a market leader and is cultured in China and Korea (Courtenay & Williams 2004). This species has been exported to other nations, including Canada and the United States where it has been sold alive in certain ethnic markets and restaurants (Courtenay & Williams 2004).The northern snakehead is introduced to many locations for culture as a sport fish (Courtenay & Williams 2004).Many introductions of the northern snakehead are believed to be the result of intentional release of fish obtained from the live food trade (Courtenay & Williams 2004). The northern snakehead has been a market leader and is cultured in China and Korea (Courtenay & Williams 2004). This species has been exported to other nations, including Canada and the United States where it has been sold alive in certain ethnic markets and restaurants (Courtenay & Williams 2004). IMPACTS The cold temperate northern snakehead (Channa argus) is found in areas in Russia, China and Korea. It is known for its voracious predation of other fish species, ability to withstand freezing and ability to tolerate lack of water for up to four days.
 
Source: Global Invasive Species Database (2020) Species profile: Channa argus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Channa+argus on 07-04-2020.
file icon Carassius auratusTooltip 04/07/2020 Hits: 42
SYSTEM
Freshwater
 
COMMON NAMES
English: goldfish
Malaysia: edible goldfish, ikan mas
Philippines: tawes
 
DESCRIPTION
A small to moderately-sized fish with a deep body and rounded cross-section. Large head and eyes with a small mouth and a forked tail. Scales are large and the single dorsal fin has 3-4 stout spines at the leading edge. Colour ranges from olive-bronze to deep golden along dorsal surface, fading to silvery-white along the belly (McDowall, 2000). May grow up to 41cm in length, 2kg in weight and live for 30 years in captivity (FishBase, 2004).
 
NATIVE RANGE
ASEAN: Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar
WORLD: China; Hong Kong; Japan; Macao
 
KNOWN INTRODUCED RANGE
ASEAN: Indonesia; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Viet Nam
WORLD: Afghanistan; Albania; Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bolivia; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic Of; Israel; Italy; Kazakhstan; Korea, Republic Of; Latvia; Lithuania; Madagascar; Mauritius; Mexico; Moldova, Republic Of; Namibia; Netherlands; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Norway; Pakistan; Peru; Poland; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Reunion; Romania; Russian Federation; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Serbia And Montenegro; Slovakia; South Africa; Spain; Taiwan; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; Uzbekistan; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Zimbabwe
 
PATHWAY
Escape - Ornamental purpose; Pet/aquarium/terrarium species
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Often introduced to outdoor ponds as an ornamental fish. Introduced worldwide as aquarium fish.
 
IMPACTS
The passage of cyanobacteria through the goldfish intestine stimulates cyanobacterial growth, which may result in algal blooms occurring. The bottom-sucking feeding methods of goldfish can also contribute towards algal blooms by re-suspending nutrients, which makes them available to algae (Morgan & Beatty, 2004). Goldfish have also been known to prey upon the eggs, larvae and adult of native fishes (Morgan & Beatty, 2004), as well as increasing water turbidity and depleting aquatic vegetation (Richardson et al., 1995).
 
Source: Global Invasive Species Database (2020) Species profile: Carassius auratus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Carassius+auratus on 07-04-2020.
file icon Caiman crocodilusTooltip 04/07/2020 Hits: 44
SYSTEM
Freshwater; Terrestrial
 
COMMON NAMES
English: spectacled caiman; common caiman
 
DESCRIPTION
The common caiman is a relatively small to medium sized crocodilian. Males generally reach 2.0-2.5 m with the largest specimens reported to approaching 3 m. Females are smaller, reaching a mean maximum size of 1.4 m, with larger specimens reaching 1.8 m. The common caiman is also known as the spectacled caiman, due to a bony ridge present between the eyes (infra-orbital bridge) which appears to join the eyes like a pair of spectacles. Juveniles are brown-cream colored with black spots and bands on the body and tail. Adults are dull olive-green to black with black bands basically on the tail. The enlarged fourth tooth of the lower jaw is not visible when the jaws are closed, as it is in all true crocodiles species (Behler, 1979), but in the oldest individuals, the front teeth and the fourth tooth of the lower jaw can perforate the upper jaw and can be visible when the mouth is closed.
 
NATIVE RANGE
WORLD: Argentina; Belize; Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad And Tobago; Venezuela
 
KNOWN INTRODUCED RANGE
ASEAN: Thailand
WORLD: Cuba; Puerto Rico; United States
 
PATHWAY
Escape - Pet/aquarium/terrarium species
 
IMPACTS
The common caiman (Caiman crocodilus), is currently the most abundant crocodilian species and is the most harvested crocodile in the hide industry. It poses a threat to native crocodilians through competition and is believed to be responsible for the introduction of the exotic parasite known as "caiman tongueworm" which infects local fish species in Puerto Rico. Caiman crocodilus is a generalist and opportunistic predator, but due their relative small size and lack of aggressive behaviour they do not in general represent a danger for humans, pets and farm animals.
 
Source: Global Invasive Species Database (2020) Species profile: Caiman crocodilus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Caiman+crocodilus on 07-04-2020.
 
file icon Brontispa longissimaTooltip 04/07/2020 Hits: 45
SYSTEM
Terrestrial
 
COMMON NAMES
English: coconut leaf hispid; coconut hispine beetle; Hispid palm leaf beetle
 
DESCRIPTION
Descriptions vary. A small orange and black beetle; 10 mm long by 4 mm wide. The head and antennae are black and a small part of the wing cover is yellow-brown. The remainder of the wing cover is black (French 2006).The adult beetle is reddish brown in colour and is about 7.5 to 10 mm long and 1.5 to 2 mm wide; females which are generally larger than the males (Wickramananda 2007). Eggs are wide brown and measure 1.4mm by 0.5mm; larvae measure 8 to 10mm long; pupae measure 9 to 10mm long and 2mm wide (FAO 2007; ASEAN IPM 2007). 
 
NATIVE RANGE
ASEAN: Indonesia
WORLD: Papua New Guinea
 
KNOWN INTRODUCED RANGE
ASEAN: Cambodia, Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Viet Nam
WORLD: American Samoa; Australia; China; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Hong Kong; Maldives; Nauru; New Caledonia; Northern Mariana Islands; Papua New Guinea; Samoa; Solomon Islands; Taiwan; Uruguay; Vanuatu
 
PATHWAY
Transport - Parasites on plants
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Lack of strict quarantine on the movement of palms (particularly ornamentals) is considered as a major factor in the spread of B. longissima (FAO 2007). It is suspected that this pest was accidentally introduced into Vietnam, the Maldives and the Philippines with shipments of ornamentals. The beetle can travel long distances by various means of transportation (Jian 2007). The spread of B. longissima and other coconut pests in Oceania is mainly attributed to human activities (Dharmaraju 1984, in FAO 2007).
 
IMPACTS
The Hispid palm leaf beetle attacks palm leaf fronds (as the name suggests) especially those of the coconut tree. It is an introduced pest in many islands in the Pacific Ocean and also some nations of the Pacific Rim including Taiwan. Its impact on tropical and subtropical cropping systems can be severe.
 
Source: Global Invasive Species Database (2020) Species profile: Brontispa longissima. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Brontispa+longissima on 07-04-2020.
file icon Boiga irregularisTooltip 04/07/2020 Hits: 45
SYSTEM
Terrestrial
 
COMMON NAMES
English: brown tree snake; brown cat snake
 
DESCRIPTION
Boiga irregularis is a slender, climbing snake with large eyes and a vertical pupil, giving it improved nocturnal vision (Fritts & Leasman-Tanner 2001). The head is considerably wider than the neck. Markings may be either vague or distinct blotches on a brownish-yellow background. In parts of Australia, blue or red banding on a white background may be seen (Rodda 1999). Black speckling may also be present on some individuals. Brown tree snakes are about 38 centimeters at hatching and may reach three meters long, but are usually one to two meters. They are adept climbers and can crawl through very small openings (USDA-APHIS 2001).
 
NATIVE RANGE
ASEAN: Indonesia (Sulawesi, Maluku, Papua)
WORLD: Australia; Papua New Guinea (North Solomons, Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea (main island group); Solomon Islands (South Solomons)
 
KNOWN INTRODUCED RANGE
WORLD: Guam
 
PATHWAY
Release - Biological control
Transport - Container/bulk; Hitchhikers in or on plane; Machinery/equipment
Escape - Pet/aquarium/terrarium species
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
The rapid spread of the snake in Guam after 1960 is unexplained. It is plausible that some people might have intentionally spread the snake to suppress rat populations, which were very high on Guam before establishment of the snake (Beardsley 1964, SavidgThe attraction of the brown tree snake to small, dark places (Pendleton 1947, in Rodda Fritts & Conry 1992) leaves little doubt that they are potential stowaways in military and non-military cargo (Rodda Fritts & Conry 1992).The brown tree snake is an excellent climber, using minute irregularities to ascend almost any structure, is extremely efficient at entering small openings and hiding in them for protracted periods and can survive for months without food (Perry et al).
 
IMPACTS
When the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) was accidentally introduced to Guam it caused the local extinction of most of the island’s native bird and lizard species. It also caused "cascading" ecological effects by removing native pollinators, causing the subsequent decline of native plant species. The ecosystem fragility of other Pacific islands to which cargo flows from Guam has made the potential spread of the brown tree snake from Guam a major concern.
 
Source: Global Invasive Species Database (2020) Species profile: Boiga irregularis. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Boiga+irregularis on 07-04-2020
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