Common name: Chinese algae-eater
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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
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
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.
Table last updated 9/30/2019
† 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.
Revision Date: 8/7/2013
Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016
Fuller, P., 2019, 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: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 10/19/2019
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.