The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Gyrinocheilus aymonieri
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri
(Chinese algae-eater)

Copyright Info
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri (Tirant, 1883)

Common name: Chinese algae-eater

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Has 9 branched dorsal rays; 36-40 lateral line scales; no dark spots on pelvic and anal fins; a small dark spot always present behind spiracle; sometimes tiny tubercles on side of head and large tubercles confined to snout (Fishbase 2007).

Size: 28.0 cm SL

Native Range: This species is native to Asia, including the Mekong, Chao Phraya, and Meklong Basins and the northern Malay Peninsula (Froese and Pauly, 2012).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Gyrinocheilus aymonieri are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
PR200720071Eastern Puerto Rico

Table last updated 12/5/2021

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: The Chinese Algae-eater is found in medium- to large-sized rivers and flooded fields, and in mountain streams with gravel bottoms (Froese and Pauly, 2012). This species is freshwater, demersal, and tropical, preferring temperatures of 25–28 °C. It mostly is herbivorous but also takes insect larvae or zooplankton. Its sucker-like mouth is used to hold onto fixed objects in currents (Froese and Pauly, 2012).

Means of Introduction: Aquarium release.  These fish are very popular in the aquarium trade for controlling algae in the tank.

Status: The species appears to be established.  Several tuberculate males were collected.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Starnes, Wayne - North Carolina Natural History Museum.

FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 8/7/2013

Peer Review Date: 8/7/2013

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2021, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri (Tirant, 1883): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2640, Revision Date: 8/7/2013, Peer Review Date: 8/7/2013, Access Date: 12/5/2021

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2021]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [12/5/2021].

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