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.

Danio rerio
Danio rerio
(zebra danio)

Copyright Info
Danio rerio (Hamilton, 1822)

Common name: zebra danio

Synonyms and Other Names: Brachydanio rerio (Hamilton, 1822), zebrafish, striped danio, rerio

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Keys and distinguishing characteristics were given in Sublette et al. (1990) and Talwar and Jhingran (1991). Color photographs of live fish appeared in Axelrod et al. (1985).

Size: 4.5 cm TL.

Native Range: Tropical Asia. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal (Talwar and Jhingran 1991). Also reported from Myanmar (Menon 1999) and Bhutan (Petr 1999).

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 Danio rerio are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA198419841California Region
FL197419782Alafia; Florida Southeast Coast

Table last updated 4/14/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: California (St. Amant and Hoover 1969) and Florida records probably resulted from release or escape from local fish farms. Source of New Mexico population is not known; possible aquarium release as was record from Connecticut (Whitworth 1996).

Status: Extirpated in New Mexico by 2003 (S. Platania, pers.comm); reported from California, Connecticut, and Florida.

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.

Remarks: This species is a popular aquarium fish and has been widely used in experimental and developmental research.

Voucher specimens: Florida (UF 108670).

References: (click for full references)

Axelrod, H.R., W.E. Burgess, N. Pronek, and J.G. Walls. 1985. Dr. Axelrod's atlas of freshwater aquarium fishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyists Publications, Inc, Neptune City, NJ. 780 p.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr. and C.R. Robins. 1973. Exotic aquatic organisms in Florida with emphasis on fishes: a review and recommendations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 102(1):1-12.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr., H.F. Sahlman, W.W. Miley II, and D.J. Herrema. 1974. Exotic fishes in fresh and brackish waters of Florida. Biological Conservation 6(4):292-302.

Courtenay, W.R. and D.A. Hensley. 1979. Survey of introduced non-native fishes. Phase I. Introduced exotic fishes in North America: Status 1979. Report submitted to National Fisheries Research Laboratory, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Gainesville.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr., D.A. Hensley, J.N. Taylor, and J.A. McCann. 1984. Distribution of exotic fishes in the continental United States.  41-77 in W.R. Courtenay, Jr., and J.R. Stauffer, Jr., eds. Distribution, Biology and Management of Exotic Fishes. John Hopkins University Press Baltimore, MD.

Courtenay, W.R., Jr., D.P. Jennings, and J.D. Williams. 1991. Appendix 2: Exotic Fishes IN Common names and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication. 5th ed. 20.

Menon, A.G.K. 1999. Checl list - fresh water fishes of India. Rec. Zool. Surv. India, Misc. Publ., Occas. Pap. No. 175. 366 p.

Petr, T. 1999. Coldwater fish and fisheries in Bhutan. p. 6-12. In T. Petr (ed.) Fish and fisheries at higher altitudes: Asia. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. No. 385. FAO, Rome. 304 p.

St. Amant, J.A. and F.G. Hoover. 1969. Addition of Misgurnus aguillicaudatus (Cantor) to the California fauna. California Fish and Game 55:330-331.

Sublette, J.E., M.D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The Fishes of New Mexico. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish University of New Mexico Press Albuquerque, NM. 393 p.

Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran. 1991. Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. Vol 1. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam. 541 p.

Whitworth, W.R. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. 114:243 p.


FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, Pam Fuller, and Bill Loftus

Revision Date: 2/12/2013

Peer Review Date: 2/12/2013

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, Pam Fuller, and Bill Loftus, 2024, Danio rerio (Hamilton, 1822): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=505, Revision Date: 2/12/2013, Peer Review Date: 2/12/2013, Access Date: 4/14/2024

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. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/14/2024].

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