Peacock gudgeons (Tateurndina ocellicauda) are to be added to the live import list to legitimise the use of the species within Australia as an ornamental aquarium fish. The peacock gudgeon has been in Australia since at least 1983, but does not appear on the 'List of Specimens Suitable for Live Import' under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) because its potential impact on the Australian environment has never been assessed. Peacock gudgeons have been used as an ornamental species within the aquarium hobby and aquarium trade in Australia ever since their introduction. The species is cultured and traded freely throughout Australia except in the Northern Territory.
Under Section 26 of the Northern Territory of Australia Fisheries Regulations (as in force 19 December 2001), the Northern Territory Government will not allow any fish to come into the Territory unless it appears on the allowable import list under the EPBC Act.
If the peacock gudgeon is added to the EPBC Act live import list the applicant will apply to the Northern Territory Government to use the species as an ornamental species to be cultured by the NT registered ornamental aquarium fish and aquatic plant aquaculture business "Aquagreen". Between 20 and 50 individual fish will be used as brood stock and up to one thousand individuals will be raised in a small grow-out pond for the sale of up to one hundred individuals per month.
If the species is added to the allowable import list it is logical that Aquarium Fish Importers will most likely import this species as part of the normal numbers of species imported from the usual foreign sources of ornamental aquarium fishes.
2. Provide information on the taxonomy of the species.
Taxonomy of the species.
Photograph taken in Melbourne 1983 by Neil Armstrong of Melbourne, Australia.
Head compressed and obtuse, both jaws with single series of teeth. The head is scaly except on the snout. The cheek and operculum are scaly. The dorsal and anal fins reach to caudal base. Caudal fin bluntly pointed and slightly longer than head. Brownish colour dorsally paler beneath. A large conspicuous oval shaped orange edged black ocellus on tail base. Fins dusky, length 1.5 inches (40 mm) (Munro 1967). This description was based on preserved specimens without the benefit of live specimens. It does not mention the incredible oranges, blues, reds and yellows found on the body, head and fins (Caughey 1984).
Phylum : Chordata Class : Osteichthes Order : Perciformes Family : Eleotrididae Genus : Tateurndina Species : ocellicauda Nichols 1955 Common name: peacock gudgeon, pastel goby, eye spot sleeper
2.2 Taxonomic reference
Nichols, John T. (1955) Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 71. Two New Fresh-Water Fishes from New Guinea. American Museum Novitates. Allen, G. R. (1991) Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of New Guinea Munro, Ian. (1967) Key & Description. The Fishes of New Guinea 1967: 516, 524
3. Describe the current status of the species in its natural range.
STATUS OF Tateurndina ocellicauda IN ITS NATURAL RANGE
3.1 Status of species in its natural range
Available information indicates that ;
- The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) is said to be common in its natural habitat that is rainforest streams on the northeastern side of the Owen Stanley Range of Eastern Papua New Guinea (Allen 1991).
- T. ocellicauda is common in the vegetation at the edges of rainforest streams in its natural range (Caughey 1984).
- T. ocellicauda forms schools that hover over the bottom in rainforest streams in the vicinity of Popondetta and Safia northeast of the Owen Stanley Ranges (Allen 1991).
3.2 Natural Distribution
- The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) inhabits the creeks within the 20-mile strip of rainforest between the coast and the escarpment of Eastern Papua, from Peria Creek, Kwagira River. (Nichols 1955)
- Found in rainforest streams in the vicinity of Popendetta and Safia northeast of the Owen Stanley Ranges (Allen 1991).
Distribution map prepared by David Wilson based on Allen, G. R. (1991) Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of New Guinea
3.3 Conservation Status
- The peacock gudgeon ( Tateurndina ocellicauda ) is not listed as rare, threatened or endangered in its natural range. (Froese and Pauly, 2002).
- Peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda is not on the IUCN Red List. However Allen (1991) states that there is urgent need to conduct flora and fauna surveys throughout much of New Guinea. The frequency of mining, logging and land clearing are increasing with preference given to the local economy over conservation issues.
- Peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda is not a CITES listed organism. There is no record of Tateurndina ocellicauda on the CITES listed species data base available as an electronic publication on the World Wide Web at the universal resource locator http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/species.html
3.4 Ecological Role
- No observations of natural diet are available, but aquarium observations indicate it is a predator of small invertebrates. Within aquaria it accepts a broad range of prepared diets as well as live daphnia, cyclops, small nematode worms, small aquatic insect larvae, and brine shrimp.
- The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) is a small planktivore, a second order consumer that would form part of the diet of larger predatory fishes. It is a small species with an average standard length of 35 mm.
- It hovers in schools near bottom of rainforest creeks to a depth of one meter (Allen 1991), also found in the vicinity of thick aquatic vegetation adjacent to the edges of streams (Caughey 1984).
- Caughey (1984) noted that captive specimens did not eat the fry of the rainbowfish Melanotaenia splendida in the same aquarium. From this it could be assumed that rainbowfish fry do not form part of the normal diet. John Cousins, a fish breeder of Melbourne, indicates that he breeds native Australian rainbowfishes within the same aquarium as peacock gudgeons and the fry of the rainbowfish are not devoured. (Personal communication with John Cousins of 1 Morilla Place, Warrandyte Vic 3113. Phone 03 9844 1245).
- Other species observed with Tateurndina ocellicauda in its natural range include two other species of gudgeon, a perch like fish (most likely Kuhlia marginata Allen 1991), and the blue-eye Pseudomugil connieae. (Caughey 1984) They are found in small rainforest streams, usually in quiet sections with rocky bottoms.
- Other fishes that co-occur in the same streams include Pseudomugil furcatus and P. connieae, Craterocephalus kailolae, Tetracentrum honessi, Mogurnda orientalis, Mogurnda sp. (undescribed), andGlossogobius sp. (also undescribed). (Personal communication with Dr Gerald Allen).
A comparison of all the New Guinea freshwater fishes’ distribution and habitat preferences from information available (Allen 1991) would indicate the following species occur with or near the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda). Each of the species is listed below as well as some information as to its probable ecological role in relation to the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda).
1. Robert's River Garfish ( Zenachopterus robertsi ) Members of the Garfish family ( Hemiramphidae ) are generally surface feeding herbivores, omnivores or carnivores ( Allen, Midgley & Allen 2002 ) and it is unknown whether Robert's River Garfish would use any life stage of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) to form part of its diet. Being a surface feeder it is unlikely to eat any life stage of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda), which inhabits the deeper parts of the stream. Fishes of the genus Zenachopterus are generally quite small.
2. Popondetta Blue-eye ( Pseudomugil connieae ) Confirmed by Dr Gerald Allen as being present with peacock gudgeon. Members of the Blue-eye family (Pseudomugilidae) are generally small schooling midwater to surface feeding carnivores with small mouths, feeding mainly on micro-crustaceans and insect larvae. (Allen, Midgley & Allen 2002 ) and unlikely to be able to eat any stage of the life history of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda)
3. Forktail Blue-eye ( Pseudomugil furcatus ) Confirmed by Dr Gerald Allen as being present with peacock gudgeon. Members of the Blue-eye family (Pseudomugilidae) are generally small schooling midwater to surface feeding carnivores with small mouths, feeding mainly on micro-crustaceans and insect larvae. (Allen, Midgley & Allen 2002) and unlikely to be able to eat any stage of the life history of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda)
4. Kailola’s Hardyhead ( Craterocephalus kailolae ) Confirmed by Dr Gerald Allen as being present with peacock gudgeon. Members of the Hardyhead family (Atherinidae) are generally midwater to surface feeding omnivores that form schools (Allen, Midgley & Allen 2002) and are unlikely to feed on any stage of the life history of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) except the very young fry.
5. Honess' Glass Perchlett (Tetracentrum honessi ) Confirmed by Dr Gerald Allen as being present with peacock gudgeon. Members of the Glassfish Family (Ambassidae) are generally nocturnal feeders all depths and schooling near shelter during the day (Allen, Midgley & Allen 2002). Honess' Glass Perchlett grows to 110 mm and would be likely to feed upon fry and sub adult peacock gudgeons.
6. Spotted Flagtail ( Kuhlia marginata ) The Spotted Flagtail has little information to suggest its habits. However the very closely related Jungle Perch ( Kuhlia rupestris ) is an omnivore that feeds on smaller live fish and crustaceans. (Merrick & Schmida 1984) It could be assumed that the Spotted Flagtail could be a predator of all the life stages of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda)
7. Kokoda Mogurnda ( Mogurnda lineata ) Members of the gudgeon family are small to medium sized carnivorous fishes feeding mainly on small crustaceans and aquatic insects. Kokoda mogurnda, at 85 mm standard length, is unlikely to be a major predator of the peacock gudgeon except for very small fry.
8. Eastern Mogurnda ( Mogurnda orientalis ) Confirmed by Dr Gerald Allen as being present with peacock gudgeon. Members of the gudgeon family are small to medium sized carnivorous fishes feeding mainly on small crustaceans and aquatic insects. Eastern Mogurnda at 110 mm standard length is unlikely to be a major predator of the peacock gudgeon except perhaps consuming for very small fry.
9. Papuan gudgeon ( Mogurnda sp. No 4 ) Members of the gudgeon family are small to medium sized carnivorous fishes feeding mainly on small crustaceans and aquatic insects. The papuan gudgeon, at 65 mm maximum length, is unlikely to be a major predator of the peacock gudgeon except perhaps consuming the very small fry.
10. Papillate Goby ( Glossogobius sp. No 4 ) Members of the goby family are small to medium sized usually carnivorous fishes feeding mainly on small crustaceans and aquatic insects. The Papillate Goby at 60 mm standard length is unlikely to be a major predator of the peacock gudgeon except for consuming the very small fry.
11. Cleft -Lipped Goby (Sicyopterus cyanocephalus ) Members of the goby family are small to medium sized usually carnivorous fishes feeding mainly on small crustaceans and aquatic insects. However the sicydrine gobies, such as Sicyopterus, are herbivores, with specialized teeth and jaws. The Cleft -Lipped Goby prefers fast flowing cobblestone streams which is slightly different to the peacock gudgeon preferred habitat. The goby has been reported from the same area as the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) and at a size of 130 mm standard length and an herbivore, is unlikely to be a predator of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda).
12. Threadfin Stream Goby (Sicyopterus longifilis ) Members of the goby family are small to medium sized, usually carnivorous fishes feeding mainly on small crustaceans and aquatic insects. However the sicydrine gobies, such as Sicyopterus, are herbivores, with specialized teeth and jaws. The Threadfin Goby prefers the same habitat type as the peacock gudgeon habitat and is reported from the same area but at a size of 130 mm standard length and an herbivore is unlikely to be a predator of the peacock gudgeon
13. Ornate Stream Goby (Sicyopterus zosterophorum ) Members of the goby family are small to medium sized carnivorous fishes feeding mainly on small crustaceans and aquatic insects. However the sicydrine gobies, such as Sicyopterus, are herbivores, with specialized teeth and jaws. There is only one record of the Ornate Stream Goby in the same area and habitat type as the peacock gudgeon habitat but at a size of 35 mm standard length and an herbivore it is unlikely to be a predator of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda).
14. Indian Shortfinned Eel ( Anguilla bicolor ) Members of the Eel family (Anguillidae) are nocturnal predators feeding mainly on fishes, crustaceans and molluscs. The Indian Shortfinned Eel grows to a maximum size of 600 mm and could be a predator of the peacock gudgeon taking all the life history stages of the fish at night.
15. Pacific Long-finned Eel ( Anguilla megastoma ) Members of the Eel family (Anguillidae) are nocturnal predators feeding mainly on fishes, crustaceans and molluscs. The Pacific Long-finned Eel grows to a maximum size of 900 mm and could be a predator of the peacock gudgeon taking all the life history stages of the fish at night.
New Guinea freshwater predatory fishes such as the Giant Perches (Centropomidae), Grunters (Terapontidae), Cardinal Fishes (Apogonidae), Snappers (Lutjanidae), Fork-tail catfishes (Ariidae), Eel-tailed Catfishes (Plotosidae), Longtoms (Belonidae) and Bonytongues (Osteoglossidae) are not recorded from the area where the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) occurs (Allen 1991). The predator response of Tateurndina ocellicauda from available information could be assumed from descriptions of the habit of the fish in the stream from (Allen 1991) and (Caughey 1984) that the fish hovers in schools above the clear center of a small stream and when disturbed takes refuge in the cover of aquatic plants at the edge of the stream adjacent the steep bank. (Caughey 1984).
No information is available about the species of plants within the same habitat of Tateurndina ocellicauda except that it is rainforest. Caughey (1984) mentions that the fish hide among the aquatic vegetation at the edges of the stream where Barry Crockford collected the specimens that he bought to Australia.
3.4 Human Uses in natural range
No record of peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda being used by the inhabitants of New Guinea could be found.
4. Describe the current status of the species in Australia.
STATUS OF Tateurndina ocellicauda IN AUSTRLIA
4.1 Current Status
The peacock gudgeon has been used solely as an ornamental species within Australia. This species has been bred and sold through aquarium shop outlets and among aquarium hobbyists since its introduction in 1983. It is an ornamental aquaculture species cultured by the Tasmanian aquaculture business called "Tasmanian Ornamental Fish" (Personal communication with Shane Willis proprietor of Tasmanian Ornamental Fish). It is also cultured for the aquarium trade by Guyra Pty Ltd, a Queensland ornamental fish aquaculture business (Personal communication with Aimee Brooks, Proprietor of Guyra Pty Ltd).
The peacock gudgeon, because of its small size and a placid disposition coupled with attractive colouration, makes an interesting addition to the community aquarium of the aquarium hobbyist. It usually occupies the bottom one third of the aquarium among vegetation near rocks and driftwood (personal observation David Wilson).
The peacock gudgeon ( Tateurndina ocellicauda ) is featured on the price list of Aquarium Industries of Melbourne (Personal communication with Glenn Briggs of Aquarium Industries and Shane Willis of Tasmanian Ornamental Fish). I have observed this species for sale in aquarium shops in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT from 1984. I first purchased this fish in 1984 from an aquarium shop called "Pisces World Aquarium”, in Belconen in the ACT, proprietors were David and Helen Seal.
4.2 Naturalised Populations
An extensive search of all Government Department web sites, both Australian and overseas that relate to introduced and pest fishes have revealed no record of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) becomming naturalised anywhere in Australia. Lever & Camm (1996) record no occurrences of peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) becoming naturalised anywhere throughout the world. Australian Government and some overseas government World Wide Web universal resource locators for pest fish information are listed at the bottom of this report.
McKay 1984 makes no mention of peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) in chapter nine titled "Introductions of Exotic Fishes in Australia”, of the book "Distribution Biology and Management of Exotic Fishes”.
McKay 1988 makes no mention of peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) in his paper Exotic and Translocated Fishes in Australia, part of the proceedings of the workshop sponsored by the Asian Fisheries Society and the Australian International Development Bureau.
Arthington 1988 makes no mention of peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) in her paper Impacts of Introduced and Translocated Freshwater Fishes in Australia, part of the proceedings of the workshop sponsored by the Asian Fisheries Society and the Australian International Development Bureau.
5. Assess the likelihood that the species could establish in the Australian environment
5. LIKELIHOOD THAT THE PEACOCK GUDGEON Tateurndina ocellicauda COULD ESTABLISH IN AUSTRALIAN ENVIRONMENT
5.1 Peacock Gudgeon Pathway to Australian Environment
The peacock gudgeon is already here within Australia and being used as an ornamental species. Currently it is transported to aquarium outlets around Australia except the Northern Territory, from the aquaculture facilities in Brisbane and Tasmania and private hobbyists breeding rooms via the aquarium fish wholesalers, aquarium shop outlets and aquarium fish clubs. To determine pathways to the Australian environment one would put areas of human population that coincide with areas that may have suitable habitat for the species. The population areas that occur within the area that may hold suitable habitat for peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda would be around Darwin and from Cairns south to Townsville. (Rose, AJ et.al. (1984) The Macquarie Illustrated World Atlas) If there were intentional or accidental releases to the environment by ill advised unthinking persons they would likely to be close to a populated area. The aquatic habitats in these areas have a healthy population of daylight predators (Allen G.R., Midgley S.H., and Allen M. 2002), which would quickly consume the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda.
5.2 Peacock Gudgeon Entry Potential
Already entered the country during 1983 and being used as an ornamental species since that date.
5.3 Peacock Gudgeon Colonisation Potential
The habitat criteria to support a population of peacock gudgeons are rainforest stream with a minimum dry season or winter water temperature not below 15° Celsius and low predator diversity.
There are few places within the north of Australia that meet these criteria. These suitable habitats are assumed to occur within the red area on the map below. If the peacock gudgeon were a robust species it could be assumed it would have a much larger distribution on the mainland of New Guinea not only in small rainforest area near Popondetta.
It is possible for the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) a tropical species to establish in various waters of North Queensland, Northern Territory and the North of Western Australia that meet the criteria to support this species as would be the case for most exotic fish species presently on the allowable list in section 303EB of EPBC Act 1999. The likelihood of establishment from repeated small introductions would be minimal. To increase chances of a self supporting population would need a large number of individuals to be introduced into the natural waterway that is similar in physical attributes to its native habitat as well as having low predator numbers and species in the area of introduction. A large number of individuals would only most likely be found in a breeding establishment.
It has been established that the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda has very limited number predators in its natural habitat. Most of the Australian areas that this species may survive will have a full range of predators that would most likely quickly remove this species because of its presumed poor predator response and uncompetitive nature. From Allen, Midgley & Allen 2002 the predatory species not present in its natural range but present in Australian waters from central Queensland around to the Kimberley in WA that will consume this species in its adult form are likely to be;
Soles – SOLEIDAE Freshwater Sole Brachirus selheimi Saltpan Sole Brachirus salinarum Tailed Sole Aseraggodes klunzingeri Tongue Soles - CYNOGLOSSIDAE Freshwater Tongue Sole Cynoglossus heterolepis Gudgeons - ELEOTRIDAE Spangled Gudgeon Ophiocara porocephala Small-eyed Sleeper Prionobutis microps Brown Gudgeon Eleotris fusca Ebony Gudgeon Eleotris melanosoma Spinecheek Gudgeon Eleotris acanthopoma Crimson Tipped Gudgeon Butis butis Giant Gudgeon Oxeleotris selheimi Sleepy Cod Oxeleotris lineolata Fimbriate Gudgeon Oxeleotris fimbriata Snakehead Gudgeon Giurus margaritacea Greenback Gauvina Bunaka gyrinoides Barred Gudgeon Bostrichthys zonatus Sinuous Gudgeon Odonteleotris macrodon Gobies - GOBIIDAE Munro’s Goby Glossogobius species 2 Flathead Goby Glossogobius giurus Golden Goby Glossogobius aureus Archerfishes - TOXOTIDAE Kimberley Archerfish Toxotes species Primitive Archerfish Toxotes lorentzi Seven-spot Archerfish Toxotes chatareus Cardinalfishes - APOGONIDAE Mouth Almighty Glossamia aprion Flagtails - KUHLIIDAE Jungle Perch Kuhlia rupestris Grunters - TERAPONTIDAE Gulf Grunter Scortum ogilbyi Spangled Perch Leiopotherapon unicolor Khaki Grunter Hephaestus tulliensis Jenkins Grunter Hephaestus jenkinsi Sooty Grunter Hephaestus fuliginosus Long-nose Sooty Grunter Hephaestus epirrhinos Coal Grunter Hephaestus carbo Barred Grunter Amniataba percoides Giant Perches - CENTROPOMIDAE Barramundi Lates calcarifer Glassfishes - AMBASSIDAE Giant Glassfish Parambassis gulliveri Swamp Eels - SYNBRANCHIDAE Swamp Eel Ophisternon gutturale One-gilled Eel Ophisternon bengalense Belut Monopterus albus Longtoms - BELONIDAE Freshwater Longtom Strongylura krefftii Fork-Tailed Catfishes - ARIIDAE Silver Cobbler Arius midgleyi Salmon Catfish Arius leptaspis Lesser Salmon Catfish Arius graffei Freshwater Eels - ANGUILLIDAE Marbled Eel Anguilla reinhardtii Pacific Short-finned Eel Anguilla obscura Indian Short-finned Eel Anguilla bicolor Bony Tongues - OSTEOGLOSSIDAE Gulf Saratoga Scleropages jardinii
Habitat matches within Australia
To determine approximate areas where this species may establish in Australia the climate types for the East of New Guinea were compared with the climate types in Australia showing similar characteristics. Also taken into consideration but not to a great extent is the minimum water temperature the species can tolerate in an aquarium or pond. This method of determining a range for a species is only approximate and to be more accurate minimum winter temperatures of all creeks, rivers, billabongs, lakes and water bodies should be considered. Those areas where the water falls below the minimum water temperature that Tateurndina ocellicauda is believed to tolerate 15° C), based on observation of aquarium culture should be excluded as suitable habitat. (Experience of David Wilson and personal communication with Aimee Brooks of Guyra Pty Ltd, Wamuran Qld.)
To answer the doubts raised about the geographical ranges of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) in the 19 May 2003 letter from Peter Beers the Manager of Aquatic Animal, Bio-security Australia, Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia, a search was conducted for data with minimum temperatures of natural fresh water near the lower limits of the approximate areas marked as likely to have suitable habitat.
The Burnett River in Qld, just south of Rockhampton has a mean winter temperature of 14.5° C deg with lowest temperature of 10° C (Brooks & Kind 2002). This indicates that the temperatures in the Burnett River would be too low for the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda to survive during cooler months. Other minimum temperature stream data could be used to map out a more accurate picture using the 15° C minimum survival temperature. It would also be expected that some spring fed streams and water bodies outside the "red area” on the map with water warmed by geothermal action, or industrial processes (such as power generation) may provide suitable temperatures for the species to survive, but these water bodies would be limited.
Bureau of Meteorology Climate Classification map produced from the Meteorological web site on published electronically on the World Wide Web.
Australian Bureau of Meteorology climate map available on the World Wide Web as an electronic publication at universal resource locator http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/environ/other/kpn.jpg
Suitable habitats for the species would be most frequently occur in tropical wet rainforest but also suitable habitats would occur less frequently in the other climate types listed where springs feed small permanent creeks. Most low land physically suitable habitat would also have a full range of predatory fish, which would make the habitat unsuitable for the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda and its survival highly unlikely. Some habitat areas that would be suitable in the NT may be found on the tops of the escarpment areas. The top of the Litchfield escarpment and some areas of the Kakadu and Arnhem Land escarpment areas have only a few species without the larger predators of the floodplain. There would be similar areas within Queensland and on the upland areas of the Kimberley Region. There would also be suitable predator reduced areas within the rainforest areas in North Queensland. It is unlikely that there would be suitable habitat near populated areas except perhaps in the Cairns and Townsville area of north Queensland. These areas are the most likely to have an illegal introduction of aquarium fishes to the natural environment because of their proximity to populated areas.
Attempts at polyculture using peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) along with other small native Australian fishes in a Queensland aquaculture facility, Guyra Pty Ltd, have been unsuccessful because of the poor competitive nature of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) (Personal communication with Aimee Brooks Proprietor of Guyra Pty Ltd, Wamuran, Qld)
Small numbers of more than seventy species of exotic ornamental fishes were in the display aquariums of Katherine Aquarium Shop when floodwaters inundated the shop during 1999. The Flood released all the captive stocks of exotic tropical and temperate ornamental fishes from the display aquaria of Katherine Pet shop into the Katherine River. The Katherine River flows into the Daly River then into the Arafura Sea. There are no reports of exotic fishes recorded from the Katherine or Daly Rivers since that event. (Personal Communication with Aquatic Pest Manager, Andria Marshall of NT Fisheries Division of the Department of Business Industries and Resource Development. [ DBIRD ])
5.4 Peacock Gudgeon Spread Potential in the Australian Environment
If for some reason the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda were to become established in a creek or river system the potential for it to spread would be almost impossible. The normal way for fish to spread from one waterway to another is:
- Egg Transport - Not possible with peacock gudgeons Tateurndina ocellicauda as they have small patches of eggs, adhered to a secluded hard surface guarded by the male and not likely to be in a position to be attached to plants or other moveable items. Once the egg is glued to the rock on initial spawning it is not adhesive once removed. Eggs are no longer under parental care once detached from spawning site and are generally suffocated by detritus. (personal observation of David Wilson).
- Floods - It is possible for the waters of two or more river systems to mix during a flood but usually on the floodplain. If the peacock gudgeon were on the floodplain it would have to face the most predators of all the habitats. It would be almost impossible for it to survive.
- Between river systems through the sea. Some species have the ability to withstand seawater salinities and move from one river system to the next. This is not possible for the peacock gudgeon as it dies in seawater salinity (32 parts per thousand salinity) personal observation of David Wilson.
- Natural dispersal within creek system. Fishes move up and down waterways moving into, and colonising areas that are suitable. It would be possible for the peacock gudgeon to do this if there were much suitable habitat but with a possible poor predator response and the mostly intermittent nature of small tropical Australian streams it is extremely unlikely to occur.
- Human intervention - it is possible for unthinking uneducated persons to translocate exotic fishes from their aquaria to a natural waterway. If there is a good environmentlal education program and the fish are valuable the chances of this occurring are greatly reduced. I know it already happens, particularly with misnamed fishes such as Mosquito Fish (Gambusia holbrooki) and Guppies (Poecola reticulata) that have been moved around in the mistaken belief they are more efficient at mosquito control than native species.
Attempts at polyculture using peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) along with other small native Australian fishes in a Queensland aquaculture facility, Guyra Pty Ltd, have been unsuccessful because of the poor competitive nature of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) (Personal communication with Aimee Brooks Proprietor of Guyra Pty Ltd, Wamuran, Qld). This observation would tend to support the statement that the Tateurndina ocellicauda would not fare well if released into waterways with a full compliment Australian native fishes.
6. Assess the consequences of the species becoming established in the Australian environment.
6. CONSEQUENSE OF Tateurndina ocellicauda BECOMING ESTABLISHED IN AUSTRALIAN ENVIRONMENT
6.1 Economic Impact Potential
The economic impact of the establishment of peacock gudgeon in a water body would depend on the extent of the establishment. It is almost impossible for the species to spread so the economic impact would be greater if it were in a small unnatural waterway that would be controlled by Government aquatic pest managers. The removal of a feral fish species would usually involve the use of a several staff and some fish poison such as rotenone that would be administered to the waterway. The waterway would be restocked with a number of native species after the rotenone dissipated then monitored for quite some time after the rotenone applications. If the establishment was in a natural water way the species does not damage or alter the environment, does not compete with native forage fishes very well so it would most likely be left as are the other small exotic fishes that have established in natural waters.
6.2 Environmental Impact Potential
The major impacts on the environment from introduced fishes are from hybridisation, habitat disruption, competition for space, competition for food and the risk of the introduction of disease or parasites. (Arthington and Lloyd 1989)
The impact of this species if established in our waters would be minimal with its very small size, its apparent poor predator response, poor competitive nature, lack of habitat disruption, its peaceful disposition toward other fish and its diet of planktonic organisms not above the size of approximately 2 millimeters (Caughey 1984). The possibility of disease introduction from an import is real however it would be part of normal import procedures as they relate to quarantine. The is no record found of any reportable disease associated with this species of fish.
6.2.1 Competition with native species
Peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) would appear to occupy a similar but more restricted ecological niche as the Carp Gudgeon (Hypseleotris compressa) without the carp gudgeon’s ability to withstand a broad range of saline conditions and with less temperature tolerances than H. compressa. It would not out compete native species for space but most likely co exist with local fishes and be out competed for space by the local small forage fishes. It will probably be first choice of larger predators as it would be more colourful and thus more conspicuous than local species and thus easy prey for local predatory fish. It is likely that it would have less developed predator response because of the low predator diversity in its native habitat and thus be less likely to avoid local predators. If the species were highly competitive common sense would dictate that it would have a much larger natural distribution outside the small area of specialised rainforest habitat of New Guinea in which it occurs.
Attempts at polyculture using peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) along with other small native Australian fishes in a Queensland aquaculture facility, Guyra Pty Ltd, have been unsuccessful because of the poor competitive nature of the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) (Personal communication with Aimee Brooks Proprietor of Guyra Pty Ltd, Wamuran, Qld)
6.2.2 Breeding capability
Breeding information about peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) from its natural habitat is not available. However spawning in captive environments is well documented in the aquarium literature. The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) has low fecundity, a mature female lays between 30 and 200 eggs approximately per spawning but a spawning of 30 to 40 eggs is more common. (Tappin 1998). The fry are fully grown and sexually mature approximately 9 to 12 months of age. (Personal observation by David Wilson) It breeds in water over 22° C and less than 30°C temperature with 26° C appearing to be optimum temperature for breeding. The adult fishes tend not to eat their fry. (Observations of David Wilson)
Assuming there are no predators, good conditions and ample food, ten pairs of Peacock Gudgeon producing on average 35 eggs per brood and a maturation time of 9 months to sexual maturity the potential to produce numbers of the species is about 26,250 individuals in a 12 month period. This compared with the breeding potential of some introduced Poeciliids (Gambusia and Guppies) is quite small considering the breeding potential of the Poeciliids could be over 4,000,000 from 10 pair in the same 12 month period. (Meffe and Nelson 1989). Guppies Poecilia reticulata are on the list of allowable species under the provisions of section 303 EB of the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. (List of Specimens taken to be Suitable for Live Import –Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Page 4) even though they have a massive spread potential.
6.2.3 Disease Introduction via Tateurndina ocellicauda
No import is requested therefore the quarantine concerns of disease introduction from another country is not an issue for the specimens already within the country. The original specimens may or may not have had a disease. However if the species is included on the allowable list it is possible someone will import some specimens.
Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) "Import Risk Analysis on Live Ornamental Finfish" July 1999 covers required disease prevention procedures to import ornamental fishes from another country. The risk analysis protocols are available in electronic form from the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service information on the World Wide Web at the universal resource locator, http://www.affa.gov.au. The import risk analysis document is downloadable from the World Wide Web.
The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) has been in Australia since 1983. No record of exotic viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites could be found that were associated with this species. In the letter of 19 May 2003 to Environment Australia by Peter Beers, Manager of Aquatic Animal Biosecurity, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia (here after referred to the "Beers letter”), he states that "the report has misunderstood existing quarantine import policies for ornamental fish”. The proponent understands that the Principles of the IRA Process are that: The author of the report has since contacted Aquatic Animal Biosecurity in The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia, and has included the following information in an attempt to rectify the deficiencies in this portion of the report identified in the Beers letter.
The import risk analysis process is an assessment conducted to determine the likelihood of pest or disease "hazards" entering Australia on or in imported consignments of goods, the likelihood of these hazards establishing in Australia, and an assessment of the consequences associated with establishment and spread of the pest or disease within Australia.
It is noted that Tateurndina ocellicauda was not assessed in the Import Risk Analysis of Live Ornamental Finfish conducted by AQIS in 1999, for fish species listed under the schedule of species under the now redundant ornamental finfish listed in Schedule 6, Part II of the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982. (The list now resides in a schedule created by Section 303EB Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.) However, this import risk analysis document has established the principles and protocols needed to import aquatic animals into Australia. If no aditional pest or disease hazards can be identified for the importation of Tateurndina ocellicauda, it would be expected that they could enter Australia based on the existing policies for live ornamental finfish.
The author of this report has not been able to locate any record of Tateurndina ocellicauda in Australia or other parts of the world having any reportable disease (listed below). (Herfort, Rawlin 1999). (Reddacliff; 1985) ("Fish Diseases - Refresher Course for Veterinarians", Proceedings 106, 1988, Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science (University of Sydney).
There has also not been any apparent visible sign of disease among wild caught fishes in the streams near Popondetta and Sofia, Papua New Guinea where the original Tateurndina ocellicaudawere collected in 1983 by Barry Crockford the only known importer of this species. (David Wilson conversation with Barry Crockford 29 Sept 2003 Melbourne phone number 03 9396 4014). In the material and correspondence examined from collectors of this fish, there were no records that indicated any disease observed in wild stocks.
It is also noted that an IRA does not assess ecological or environmental impacts of the imported species other than in regard to its potential to introduce infectious agents. Instead the ecological and environmental impacts of the potential introduction of Tateurndina ocellicauda are considered in this report
Australian National List of Reportable Diseases of Aquatic Animals Diseases/agents currently listed (as of September 2003) DISEASE Listed in the OIE Aquatic Code Listed regionally (OIE/NACA) Exotic to Australia FINFISH 1. Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis – EHN virus yes yes no 2. Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis – European catfish virus yes yes yes 3. Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis – European sheatfish virus yes yes yes 4. Infectious haematopoietic necrosis yes yes yes 5. Oncorhynchus masou virus disease yes yes yes 6. Spring viraemia of carp yes yes yes 7. Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia yes yes yes 8. Channel catfish virus disease yes yes yes 9. Viral encephalopathy and retinopathy yes yes no 10. Infectious pancreatic necrosis yes yes yes 11. Infectious salmon anaemia yes yes yes 12. Epizootic ulcerative syndrome (Aphanomyces invaderis) yes yes no 13. Bacterial kidney disease (Renibacterium salmoninarum) yes yes yes 14. Enteric septicaemia of catfish (Edwardsiella ictaluri) yes yes yes 15. Piscirickettsiosis (Piscirickettsia salmonis) yes yes yes 16. Gyrodactylosis (Gyrodactylus salaris) yes yes yes 17. Red sea bream iridoviral disease yes yes yes 18. White sturgeon iridoviral disease yes yes yes 19. Furunculosis (Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida) no no yes 20. Aeromonas salmonicida - atypical strains no no no 21. Whirling disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) no no yes 22. Enteric redmouth disease (Yersinia ruckeri Hagerman strain) no no yes 23. Koi mass mortality no yes yes
Reproduced from AFFA website:
It would be expected that Tateurndina ocellicauda would be susceptible to a range of viral, bacterial, fungal and parasite related diseases of aquarium fish, common in freshwater aquariums around the world.. However these disease agents were excluded as hazards of quarantine concern in the Import Risk Analysis of Live Ornamental Finfish conducted by AQIS in 1999.
Disease protocols for the transfer of wildlife between countries are set down by the Office Internationale des Epizooties (OIE). Based on current freshwater, ornamental finfish import policy; potential import of Tateurndina ocellicauda would come from an approved premises in the exporting country, most probably an established aquaculture facility under the supervision of qualified veterinarians and pathologists who would need to inspect the fish within 7 days of export and be able to attest that they are free infectious diseases or pests. This current policy is outlined in AQIS, Animal Quarantine Policy Memorandum 1999/77, dated 17 November 1999. Further Information on international standards for the movement of live aquatic animals is available from the World Wide Web universal resource locator for the OIE. http://www.oie.org.
The transfer of aquatic life between states was subject of an agreement in 1999. The Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Agriculture formulated the “The National Policy for the Translocation of Live Aquatic Organisms – Issues, Principles and Guidelines for Implementation”. The details of this agreement is available as an electronic publication on the World Wide Web at universal resource locator http://www.bra.gov.au/fish/translocation.html
6.2.4 Habitat altering capability
Peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) does not move substrate, damage plants or cause any serious alteration to its habitat. A spawning pair will clean a small piece rock, large leaf of aquatic plant or log to make a suitable site for spawning. The spawning site is generally in a place hidden from other larger aquatic creatures such as inside a small hollow log or crevice in some rocks. (personal observation David Wilson)
6.2.5 Pest History
An extensive search of available literature and the Internet failed to produce any information on the establishment of any feral populations of peacock gudgeons Tateurndina ocellicauda anywhere in the world.
The web site http://ww.Fishbase.org lists the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda as harmless. Lever & Camm (1996) mention no occurrences of peacock gudgeon establishing a feral population anywhere in the world.
Australian federal and state government fisheries and other pest and exotic fish web pages on the Internet make no listing or mention of peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda ). Web pages relating to pest and exotic fishes from all the Australian states and Territories are listed in reference section. <p6.2.7 Habitat Requirements
Natural Habitat description: Found in a thin belt of rainforest approximately 20 miles wide between the coast and an escarpment. Original specimens collected in Peria Creek, Kwagira River, eastern Papua, New Guinea, came from pools in intermittent streams 10 miles from the coast , altitude approximately 50 meters. (Nichols 1955). On the northeastern side of the Owen Stanley Range Eastern Papua New Guinea, common in rainforest streams in the vicinity of Safia and Popondetta. Forms schools that hover over the bottom. (Allen 1991). Habitat description from Crockford collection east of Popondetta, small slow moving stream about 3' deep, steep well vegetated banks with thick aquatic vegetation near the edges of the stream while the center of the stream was open. The specimens were collected among the vegetation. Other species observed with peacock gudgeon by Crockford were two other gudgeon species, a large perch type fish and the Fork Tailed Rainbowfish (Popondetta ? (Caughey 1984)
Physical tolerances natural habitat
Temperature 22 - 27° C Turbidity Clear, bottom visible in 3 foot Hardness 80 ppm Alkalinity 15 to 102 ppm pH 7.6 salinity 90 to 130 microsemens Dissolved O2 Not known
Physical tolerances in aquaria
Temperature 15 to 30° C (die below 15° C) Turbidity Not known, usually clear in an aquarium Hardness 10 to 360 ppm Alkalinity 15 to 204 ppm pH 6.6. to 7.6 salinity 0 to 2 parts per thousand possibly a little higher Dissolved O2 Not known
Physical tolerances in natural habitat and aquaria/pond conditions compiled from personal observations of David Wilson and the observations of Aimee Brooks of Guyra Pty Ltd as well as the following references.
Caughey, Alex. (1984)
Crockford, B. (1983)
Frank, S. (1996)
Froese, R. and Pauly, D.(2002)
Gewinner, Heinrich (2001)
Staek, Wolfgang. (1989)
Tappin, Adrian. (1998)
6.3 Perceived Impact (Social & Political Influences)
If the peacock gudgeon did become established in a natural waterway there may be some complaints made by various environmental groups, possible ameteur fishermen’s associations and other special interest groups that interested in the welfare of our waterways.
6.4 Behavioral Characteristics
Describe the behaviour of the species, including its behaviour to its own kind and to other species, and the potential it has for causing physical disturbance to its habitat.
Behaviour toward own species - There is no information about the behaviour of the peacock gudgeon toward its own species in its natural habitat. However in an aquarium peacock gudgeons generally ignore each other most of the time. Mature males do chase other males from the small area they have selected as their home range. This area in an aquarium could be approximately 15 to 20 centimeter radius circle around an object or place that the male has selected as a possible breeding site. If another male challenges the area both males sit motionless adjacent each other with all fins erect and quivering. After a few seconds there may be a brief contact between the two fish, then one male will usually retreat. After such an exchange there is usually very little or no damage to the contestants. Occasionally a fin is split. (Personal observation David Wilson)
Behaviour toward other species - There is no information available about the behaviour of the peacock gudgeon toward other species within its natural habitat. I have kept peacock gudgeons with native forage fishes such as Rainbowfishes (Melanotaeniidae), Hardyheads (Atherinidae) Glass Perchlets, (Ambassidae), Blue-eyes (Melanotaeniidae) and small Gudgeons (Eleotrididae). The vast majority of the native Australian forage fishes just mentioned do not pay any attention to the peacock gudgeon. The peacock gudgeons are generally too small to be a bother to the small forage fishes except maybe the blue-eyes but there is no interaction between Blue-eyes and peacock gudgeons because their paths do not cross. The Blue-eyes inhabit the surface waters and the peacock gudgeons stay near the substrate. There will be a competition for the small invertebrates used as food by most small forage fishes. In an aquarium unless there is ample prey items for food available to the peacock gudgeons, they will lose condition more readily than the Australian forage species kept in the same aquarium. (Personal observation by David Wilson) This observation is also supported by Aimee Brooks of Guyra Pty Ltd in failed attempts at poly culture of the peacock gudgeon with small native forage species in the same aquaculture ponds.
One of the most experienced aquarium hobbyists in Melbourne has reported that he has observed peacock gudgeons nipping the lower lobe of the caudal fin of a tetra species. Tetras are a South American group of fishes belonging to the family Characidae. They are usually very small forage fishes and common in the aquarium trade. (Personal communication with Ron Bowman of 49 Chadstone Rd, Malvern East, Vic 3145 phone 03 9568 8144)
Andrew Thornton the New South Wales Liaison Officer for the Australia and New Guinea Fishes Association has reported that he placed newly hatched rainbowfish fry in a small aquarium together with peacock gudgeons Tateurndina ocellicauda and they consumed the fry. (Personal Communication with Andrew Thornton of NSW, ANGFA phone 02 9882 1937) Peacock gudgeons nipped small portions from the anal fin of an immature threadfin rainbowfish Iriatherina werneri in a community aquarium containing many small Australian native fishes. (Personal observation of David Wilson in an Aquarium in Howard Springs NT, November 2002.)
6.5 Feeding characteristics/ diet
In natural habitat
The natural diet of Tateurndina ocellicauda could not be ascertained. There are no studies of this species in its natural habitat.
In aquaria the species sits motionless near its preferred area and will move towards a prey item and inhale it by extending operculum. The fish will then remain motionless in the same location for a few seconds then move toward and inhale another prey item. It will continue this behaviour while prey items are available until its abdomen is noticeably more distended. (David Wilson observation of peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda eating water fleas Moina sp. in aquaria 14 July 2000)
There are no known observations of spawning in natural habitat. Spawning observations in the aquarium are well documented.
Peacock gudgeons will breed readily when kept in water with temperature between 20°C to 26°C, pH 6.8 to 7.8 and a general hardness up to 150 ppm. Prior to spawning the pair carefully clean the selected site of any extraneous material. Females may produce successive broods each containing between 30 to 200 eggs, although 30 to 40 seems to be the average brood size. The pair generally seeks out a secluded area in the aquarium for spawning and will deposit their eggs on rocks, driftwood, or other solid object. The eggs are laid in rows, each having a sticky base that adheres them to the spawning site. Immediately after spawning the male will usually drive the female away, so at this time it is best to remove the female. Like all members of Eleotrididae (the gudgeon family) the male positions itself over the eggs and continually fans its pectoral fins keeping the eggs oxygenated and free of detritus until they hatch. Eggs hatch between 6 and 10 days depending on temperature. Soon after they hatch they become free swimming the male will stop caring for them. The fry will take artemia nauplii and microworms when first hatched. They grow quite quickly and soon resemble little yellowish replicas of their parents. (Tappin 1998)
6.7 Hybridisation Tateurndina ocellicauda is the only species within the genus Tateurndina. (Froese and Pauly 2002). Tateurndina was suggested to be related to the genus Mogurnda by Allen (1991). More recently Akihito et al. (2000) examined the relationships among gobioid fishes using the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Their results (Figure 1) suggest T. ocellicauda is the sister group to the genera Ophieleotris and Mogurnda which both have Australian representatives.
Figure 1. The phylogenetic relationships obtained by Akihito et al. (2000), for various gobioid fishes. Tateurndina (Toc) is in cluster 6 with Mogurnda (Mm) and Ophieleotris (Osp).
Based on the results of Akihito et al. (2000) the closest relatives of the peacock gudgeon native to Australia are members of the genus Mogurnda, which is represented by at least six species in Australia and the genus Ophieleotris which is represented in Australia by one species, the snakehead gudgeon (Ophieleotris aporos) (Allen et al. 2002). Ophieleotris aporos is synonymous withGiurus margaritacea (Allen et al. 2002).
There are several reasons as to why Tateurndina ocellicauda is unlikely to hybridise with any related fish in Australia.
Firstly, Tateurndina ocellicauda is a very small species that probably matures at around 20-25 mm and has been reported to reach only 35 mm in the wild (Allen 1991). In contrast, AustralianMogurnda spp. do not mature until at least 50-60 mm, and they grow to at least 120-175 mm in the wild (Merrick and Schmida 1984; Allen et al. 2002). The other related species, Ophieleotris aporos grows to 400 mm (Merrick and Schmida 1984). It is unknown as to what size they mature at, but it would be considerably larger than Mogurnda. These size differences alone make it somewhat unlikely that successful mating would occur.
If a Tateurndina ocellicauda was likely to attempt to mate with any related species, it would most likely be eaten due to its small size. Australian Mogurnda spp. are carnivorous predators. While fishes are not the most commonly eaten item by Mogurnda, all studies to date have found fishes in their stomachs (Jeffree and Williams 1980; Pusey et al. 1995; 2000; Bishop et al. 2001), In addition, they are well know via aquarium observations to be predatory on smaller fishes (e.g., Hamlyn-Harris 1931; Hansen 1988 ). I could find no specific studies on the diet of Ophieleotris aporos in Australia, but they have been reported to feed on insects, shrimps, crayfishes and fishes by Allen (1989) and are known to be predatory on other fishes in captivity (Merrick and Schmida 1984). Both Mogurnda spp. and O. aporos have quite large mouths that are easily capable of swallowing relatively slender fishes like T. ocellicauda up to probably a third to half their body lengths.
In addition to size related issues there are likely several behavioural traits that would prevent matings. Tateurndina ocellicauda has already evolved some mechanisms to prevent hybridisation since it coexists in New Guinea with at least two other Mogurnda spp. (Mogurnda orientalis, Mogurnda sp. 4) (Allen pers. comm.), both of which are somewhat smaller than the AustralianMogurnda spp. (Allen 1991), and hence less likely to prey upon Tateurndina. Australian Mogurnda spp. are well known to be very aggressive at times, especially when pre-spawning, spawning, and egg guarding. Only the strongest females are typically able to survive the pre-spawning rituals, and even those that do manage to spawn end up tattered and beaten by the end of spawning (Young 1987). Matings with smaller conspecific individuals are unlikely due to these aggressive interactions. In addition to the aggression, pre-spawning behaviour includes various pre-mating postures and interactions (Hamlyn-Harris 1931; Merrick and Schmida 1984; Young 1987; Hansen 1988) which are likely important in species specific mate choice. Tateurndina ocellicauda also has a suite of pre-mating postures and behaviours that would likely be important for conspecific mate choice and it also does not display the aggression of Australian Mogurnda spp. (Caughey 1984; Rosler 1997). Nothing is known of the spawning behaviour of Ophieleotris aporos in Australia (Merrick and Schmida 1984).
Finally, there are various developmental differences between Tateurndina ocellicauda and its relatives, as observed in captive fishes Tateurndina ocellicauda produces a small number of eggs (30-200) that are of moderate size (1-1.5 mm) (Caughey 1984; Rosler 1997).
Temperatures of between 22 and 30°C (with 26°C being optimal) are required for spawning to occur (Caughey 1984; Rosler 1997). Australian Mogurnda spp. produce larger numbers of eggs (280-1300) that are larger (2.0-3.8 mm long and 1.1-1.3 mm wide) than T. ocellicauda (Merrick and Schmida 1984). Spawning generally occur between temperatures of 19 and 34oC (Merrick and Schmida 1984). Ophieleotris aporos is thought to have a pelagic marine life history phase, and the number of eggs produced by the northern New Guinea population (100,000-220,000) suggests they would be quite small (Allen et al. 2002) which is typical of fishes with a pelagic marine life history trait. These differences in egg sizes between each of these species are likely to have important post-fertilisation impacts that will tend to decrease the likelihood of successful hatching should a mating occur.
Bishop, K.A., Allen, S.A., Pollard, D.A. & Cook, M.G. 2001. Ecological studies on the freshwater fishes of the Alligator rivers region, Northern Territory: autoecology. Supervising Scientist Report 145. Supervising Scientist, Darwin.
Hamlyn-Harris, R. 1931. A further contribution to the breeding habits of Mogurnda (Mogurnda) adspersus Castelnau: the trout gudgeon. Australian Zoologist. 7: 55-58.
Hansen, B. 1988. The purple-spotted gudgeon - Mogurnda adspersa. Fishes of Sahul. 4: 200-202.
Jeffree, R. A. & Williams, N.J. 1980. Mining pollution and the diet of the purple-spotted gudgeon Mogurnda Mogurnda Richardson (Eleotridae) in the Finniss River, Northern Territory, Australia. Ecological Monographs. 50: 457-485.
Pusey, B.J., Read, M.G. & Arthington, A.H. 1995. The feeding ecology of freshwater fishes in two rivers of the Australian wet tropics. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 43: 85-103.
Pusey, B.J., Arthington, A.H. & Read, M.G. 2000. The dry-season diet of freshwater fishes in monsoonal tropical rivers of Cape York Peninsula, Australia. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. 9: 177-190.
Rosler, H.J. 1997. The care and breeding of Tateurndina ocellicauda. Tropical Fish Hobbyist. 45: 84-94.
Young, M. 1987. A tank breeding of Mogurnda Mogurnda. Fishes of Sahul. 4: 174-177.
6.8 Physical Characteristics
The peacock gudgeon is quite distinguishable from any other small gudgeon species. There is a superficial resemblance between it and the purple spotted gudgeon (Mogurnda Mogurnda) but anyone who is familiar with Australian native fishes could not confuse the two species. The sexes are distinguishable from about the age of six months or slightly before. The female peacock gudgeons develop a black margin along the outer edge of the anal fin. The male peacock gudgeon does not have this black margin. The male peacock gudgeon develops a more pronounced lump on its forehead as it becomes sexually mature. Males tend to be a few millimeters larger than females at sexual maturity. (Personal observation of David Wilson)
Describe any potentially harmful characteristics of the species. Include: any potential for harm to humans and any available mitigation measures (such as anti?venom); and methods for appropriate handling. The peacock gudgeon is described as harmless on the World Wide Web universal resource locator www.fishbase.org Froese, R. and Pauly, D. (2002). No record of any venomous or toxic characteristics relating to this species could be found.
Describe the maximum length and weight the species attains (male and female). A male peacock gudgeon has been recorded at 75 mm Froese, R. and Pauly, D. (2002). The more usual size in an aquarium is 40 to 50 mm Tappin, Adrian. (1998)
6.9 Consequences of establishment, physical damage to environment and cost to rehabilitate, impact on other species
It could be considered that this species is a very low risk to the environment should it become established. The information about the species in the report indicates that it fills a similar niche to Carp Gudgeon Hypseleotris compressa but with a much-reduced range and physical tolerances, other fishes with similar ecological niche would be Dwarf Gudgeon Oxeleotris nullipora and some other small gobies. If the fish escaped or was deliberately released into a place where it could survive the local predators and managed to establish in a permanent Australian waterway, I believe that it would not directly compete with, or threaten the population of, any other native fish. The peacock gudgeon would be able to coexist together with other Australian fishes, without hybridizing with any other species of eleotrid or displacing any other species of Australian fish. If it were to become established in an Australian waterway the peacock gudgeon would cause no physical damage to the aquatic habitat, as peacock gudgeons have no digging or substrate disturbing habits, they have no vegetation moving or destroying habits.
7. Provide information and results of any other similar assessments undertaken on the species (e.g. assessments of the species by the Vertebrate Pests Committee or any relevant State or Territory Agency).
7. SIMILAR ASSESSMENTS OF Tateurndina ocellicauda
Alex McNee of the Bureau of Rural Sciences compiled a report titled “A national approach to the management of exotic fish species in the aquarium trade: An inventory of exotic freshwater species” A Report for Fisheries Resources Research Fund. Lists exotic fishes believed to be present in Australia and reported an assessment of the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicaudaas unsuitable for addition to the allowable import list. There appears to be no date on this report but a telephone call with Mr. McNee confirmed it was published during September 2002.
I asked for a source of the report on the Peacock Gudgeon and received the following answer:
Page three of the McNee review states "Given the prohibitive cost and time constraints associated with the above approach, this project was undertaken as a desktop study of existing information from a variety of available sources to compile a listing of those species known to currently be present in the country. It is acknowledged that this is potentially far from comprehensive, particularly with regard to those ‘fringe (illegal) species’, however it will provide a starting point to establish baselines for a potential national approach."
After extensive enquiries I have been unable to find a record of the negative report on Tateurndina from any source except McNee 2002.
One possible explanation is that all Eleotrididae were once listed on the noxious fishes list in the state of Victoria under the Fisheries Act 1995 (pers. comm. Glenn Briggs of Aquarium Industries Victoria) and thus Tateurndina ocellicauda a member of the Eleotrididae family was included on McNee's list of unsuitable for import because of that position on the Victorian noxious fish List. The list has since changed to not include all Eleotrididae as noxious. The Victorian Noxious Fish List is produced in Pragraph 8.7.
8. Provide information on all other relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory legislative controls on the species and the assessment upon which these controls were based.
8. OTHER LEGISLATIVE CONTROLS ON Tateurndina ocellicauda
Provide information on all other relevant Commonwealth, State, and Territory legislative controls on the species and the assessments upon which these controls were based.
8.1 The Commonwealth Government regulation of fish imports comes under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The list of allowable species of fishes for importation into Australia was attached as schedule 6 of the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Imports and Exports) Act 1982 and the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda was not included on this list. The current list of fishes allowed for importation occurs in section 303 EB of the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) is not listed in that legislation.
8.2 The Northern Territory
The Northern Territory Department of Business Industry and Resource Development, Fisheries Division will not allow peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) across its border unless it has passed the Commonwealth guidelines for acceptance into the country. The list of species of fishes allowed into the Northern Territory for ornamental fishes is the same as Commonwealth list but with the possibility of having the species rejected if it is deemed unsuitable by the NT Minister for Fisheries as outlined in section 26 of the Northern Territory Fisheries Regulations 2001. The Fisheries division currently comes under the umbrella of the Department of Business Industry and Resource Development.
8.3 The Queensland Government.
The aquarium fish trade control comes under the Queensland Fisheries Act 1994 and the Queensland Fisheries Regulation 1995. Sections 88, 89, 90 of the Queensland Fisheries Act 1994regulate possession transport and release of non-indigenous fishes and noxious fishes. The aquarium trade has a list of allowable species called "non-indigenous fisheries resource" under the provisions of schedule 6 of the Queensland Fisheries Regulation 1995. The peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda is not listed on this schedule as a non-indigenous fisheries resource. Noxious fishes are listed in section 74 of the Queensland Fisheries Act 1994, Fisheries (Freshwater) Management Plan 1999 and the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda is not recorded on that list as a noxious species.
8.4 Western Australian Government
Under Regulation 176 of the Fish Resources Management Regulations 1995, a person must not bring into the State a species of fish not endemic to the State without the written approval, or written authority, of the Executive Director of the Department of Fisheries. Species listed as noxious under Schedule 5 of the Fish Resources Management Regulations 1995 and prohibited to be imported into the State. The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) is not listed as noxious or restricted in Western Australia.
8.5 The South Australian Government
Section 49 of the Fisheries Act 1982 makes it an offence to import or sell exotic fish. The South Australian Fisheries regulations relating to exotic aquarium fish are the Fisheries (Exotic Fish, Fish Farming And Fish Diseases) Regulations 2000, Regulations Under The Fisheries Act 1982. Part 6 of the regulations creates schedule 3 that lists the fishes exempt from Section 49 of the fisheries Act. The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) is not listed as exempt from Section 49 of the Fisheries Act .
8.6 The New South Wales Government
New South Wales Fisheries Management Act 1994 No 38 sections 209, 210 and 211 declare certain fish and plants to be noxious and it is an offence to possess or sell noxious fish. Section 217 controls the importation of live fishes into the state. Section 340 of the New South Wales Fisheries Management (General) Regulations 2002 declares certain fish, aquatic invertebrates and plants to be noxious. The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) is not listed as noxious in this Regulation.
8.7 The Victorian Government
Section 75 of the Victorian Fisheries Act 1995, allows the declaration of certain species as "Noxious Aquatic Species". The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment publishes the Noxious Aquatic Species List on their web site. The peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) does not appear on this list. The list is available on the World Wide Web at universal resource locator http://www.nre.vic.gov.au, http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/web/root/domino/cm_da/nrenfaq.nsf/frameset/NRE+Fishing+and+Aquaculture?OpenDocument
List of Declared Noxious Aquatic Species in Victoria as Declared under the Fisheries Act 1995 (last ammendment 28/12/2000) Scientific Names Common Name Acestorhynchus microlepis Pike Salmon (Hervey, Hems) Alfaro amazonus Amazon Livebearer Alfaro cultratus Knifetail Livebearer Anabas ansorgi Poss. syn. Ctenopoma ansorgi Anabas oxyrhynchus Poss. syn. Ctenopoma oxyrhynchus Apeites quadracus Four spined stickleback Asterias amurensis Northern Pacific seastar Callichrous bimaculatus Channa fasciata Snakehead Cherax quadricarinatus Red claw crayfish Cherax tenuimanus Marron Chrosomus erythrogaster Red-bellied Dace Cichlasoma tetracanthus Cuban Cichild Cichlasoma urophthalmus Clarias batrachus Walking catfish Clarias Lazera Clara Colossoma nigripinnis Creatochanes affinis Creatochanes melanurus surinamensis Crenicichla dorsocellata Crenicichla lepidota Pike Cichlid Crenicichla notophthalmus Crenicichla saxatilis Ring-tailed Pike Cichlid Ctenopharyneodon idellus Grass Carp Ctenopoma ansorgi Ctenopoma argentoventer Silver-bellied Climbing Perch Ctenopoma congieum Ctenopoma fasciolatus Striped Climbing Perch Ctenopoma nanum Dwarf Climbing Perch Ctenopoma ocellata Ctenopoma oxyrhynchus Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus) Common Carp Dianema longibarbus Dorichthys fluviatilis Elassoma evergladei Pigmy Sunfish Elassoma zonata Eleotris lebretonis Enneacanthus gloriosus Esox lucius Pike Eucalia inconstans Brook Stickleback Eutropius nilotious Fundulus chrysotus Golden-ear Gambusia affinis holbrooki Common Gambusia. Mosquito fish Gambusia affinis holbrooki Black Gambusia Gambusia domincensis San Domingo Gambusia Gambusia manni Nassau Gambusia Gambusia nicaraguensis Nicaraguan Gambusia Gambusia patruelis Silver Gambusia Gambusia punctata Blue or Spotted Gambusia Gasterosteus aculeatus Three-spined Stickleback Hemichromis fasciatus Banded Jewelfish Herichthys cyanoguttatus Texas Cichlid Heteropneustes fossils Hollandichthys multifasciatus Hydrocynus goliath African Tiger Fish Hydrocynus maculatus Irvineia voltoe Knodus savannensis Lamprologus leleupi Lates nilotica Nile Perch Lebiasina bimaculata Lepomis auritus Lepomis gibbosus Lepomis macrochirus Bluegill Lepomis megalotis Leptolebias aureoguttatus Leptolebias marmoratus Leptolebias minimus Leptolebias opalescens Leptolebias splendens Malapterurus electricus Electric Catfish Micropterus dolomieu Small-mouthed Bass Micropterus punctulatus Spotted Bass Micropterus salmoides Large-mouthed Bass Misgurnus anguillicaudatus Weather loach Ompok bimaculatus Ophiocephalus obscurus Ophiocephalus senegalensis Osteoglossum bicirrhosum South American Arowana Oxyeieotris marmorata Parauchenoglanis macrostoma Phago maculatus Pike Characin (Sterba) Pimelodus clarias Polypterus enlicheri Polypterus retropinnis Pomoxis spp. Crappie Protopterus annectens Pseudoziphophorus bimaculatus Pungasinodon gigas Mekong River Giant Catfish Pungitius pungitius Nine-spined Stickleback Puntius setevimensis Algerian Barb Schilbe mystus Sabella spallanzanii Sabella worm (European fan worm) Serrasalmus spp. Piranhas Serrasalmus nattereri Piranha Serrasalmus rhombous Spotted Piranha Sorubim lima Spatula Loach Spartina anglica Rice grass Spartina xtasmanica Rice grass Tilapia busumana Tilapia dolloi Congo Mouthbreeder Tilapia heudeloti Senegal Mouthbreeder Tilapia mactocephala Black-chinned Mouthbreeder Tilapia melanopleura Tilapia mossambica Mozambique Mouthbreeder Tilapia natalensis Natal Mouthbreeder Tilapia nilotica Nile Mouthbreeder Tilapia ovalis Tilapia sparrmanni Sparrman's Mouthbreeder Tilapia zilli Zill's Mouthbreeder Tomerurus gracilis Trichomycteridae family Parasitic catfishes Valencia hispanica Spanish Fundulus Xiphophorus pygameus
8.8 The Tasmanian Government
The control of fresh water Aquarium Fish in Tasmania comes under the Inland Fisheries Service which administers the Inland Fisheries Act 1995. Section 149 of the Act declares certain fish to be controlled. Section 192 0f the Act allows the Governor to make regulations to control the import of freshwater fish. The Tasmanian Government has banned the import of all fishes that can survive in water less than 10° C. An extensive search of the Tasmanian Government legislation and Web site failed to find any mention of peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda)
8.9 The Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Government controls the movement of live fish with the Fisheries Act 2000. Section 14 of the act allows the Minister to declare species to be noxious. Section 22 of the act makes it a requirement to have a license to import or export live fishes. Section 67 of the act makes it an offence for a person to possess noxious fish. An extensive search of ACT Government web site could find no reference to peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda). The ACT Parks and Wildlife Service over sight the Aquarium trade, Environmental Section who issue permits to Aquarium fish outlets. The allowable aquarium ornamental fishes are those on Section 303EB of the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act.
9. Assess what conditions or restrictions, if any, could be applied to the import of the species to reduce any potential for negative environmental impacts.
Conditions or Restrictions that could be placed on an importation of the Species
9.1 No importation of peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) is required at present, just a listing on section 303GN of the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act to legitimise the current stocks within Australia. A pass of the risk assessment process is required to satisfy the Northern Territory Government and make the possession of the fish legal under the provisions of section 303GN of the EPBC Act. Perhaps an application will be prepared sometime in the future if fresh broodstock is required for the purposes of increasing the amount of genetic material available. At present the breeding stocks within Australia are still producing fish with few defects or abnormalities usually associated with long term in-breeding even though all appear to originate from a few fish in imported in 1983.
9.2 Usual conditions placed on the importation of a species with pronounced sexual dimorphism would be to import one sex only so that if there were introductions into the natural environment the problem would only exist for the life span of the individuals that escaped or were released. No breeding would occur. In the case of this peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) both sexes are currently present within Australia.
10. Provide an overall assessment on the potential impacts of importing the species, include both the potential impacts of the particular import that is proposed and the potential impacts of the species per se (i.e. the potential impacts on the environment should the specimen(s) ever be released from effective human control.
10. OVERALL ANALYSIS OF POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF Tateurndina ocellicauda WITHIN AUSTRALIA
10.1 Risk of establishment and consequences
The peacock gudgeon has been in Australia since 1983, which is about 20 years. No import is required at this stage. Perhaps if this application is successful someone will import some from an aquaculture facility in the USA, Europe or Asia some time in the future. Then all the quarantine protocols in place will apply. It is a popular aquarium species used within the aquarium trade in relatively small numbers when compared with some of the more popular aquarium species. It is possible that there has been exposure to the environment but very unlikely. To become established there would need to be an exposure of enough specimens in an area that would support this species that is from a small area of special habitat in New Guinea rain forested creeks that have low predator diversity. Places suitable for establishment are relatively uncommon in Australia especially near major populated areas. The probability of establishment from an exposure is rated as practically impossible. The consequences if it were established would be another small exotic species in natural waters that would not compete or interfere with native species.
10.2 Impact on physical environment
The peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda should be considered a low risk to the aquatic habitats if it were to become established in any natural waters. The species does not dig, move objects or destroy vegetation.
10.3 Impact on native species
If the peacock gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda escaped or was deliberately released into a place where it could survive the local predators and managed to establish in a permanent Australian water body, it would not directly compete with, or threaten the population of, any other native fish. The peacock gudgeon would be able to coexist together with other Australian forage fishes, without hybridizing with any other species of eleotrid or displacing any other species of Australian fish. It is a poor competitor for food among native forage species. It is a poor competitor for space among native species. If the establishment was in a small unnatural waterway the usual method of control would be to poison all fish in the waterway and re inoculate it with some local native species. In a large natural waterway it is unlikely that any economically feasible control measures could be undertaken.
10.4 Disease control (Possible diseases / control)
No import is required therefore there is no risk of importing disease or parasites. If there were to be an importation the normal Australian Government protocols would need to be observed as with any other live import. The species is cultured in many other ornamental aquaculture facilities throughout the world and health certificated disease free specimens would be available. There is no record of any reportable disease causing organism associated with this species since its introduction in 1983 and no record from the area of New Guinea of any reportable disease causing organism.
10.5 Overall Risk to Australian Environment
The overall risk to the Australian environment is almost non-existent because the peacock gudgeon is from a very specialized habitat restricted to a small area of New Guinea with virtually no predators. It is a poor competitor with similar sized native Australian fishes. It has almost non-existent chance of establishing in a natural waterway and if this did occur there would be virtually no chance of the species to spreading to adjacent waterways.
I recommend that the peacock gudgeon be included on the 'List of Specimens Suitable for Live Import' in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
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Akihito, Akihisa Iwata, Takanori Kobayashi, Kaxuho Ikeo, Tadashi Imanishi, Hiroaki Ono, Yumi Umehara, Chika Hamamatsu, Kayo Sugiyama, Yuji Ikeda, Katsuichi Sakamoto, Akishinonomiya Fumihito, Susumu Ohno, Takashi Gojobori (2000) Evolutionary aspects of gobioid fishes based upon a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b genes. Gene 259 (2000) 5-15.
Arthington, Angela H. (1988) Impacts of Introduced and Translocated Fishes in Australia, the proceedings of the workshop sponsored by the Asian Fisheries Society and the Australian International Development Bureau.
Arthington, Angela H. and Lloyd, Lance N. (1989) Chapter 18 of [Meffe, G.M. and Nelson, F.F. (1989) Ecology and Evolution of Livebearing Fishes (Poeciliids), Introduced Poeciliids in Australia and New Zealand.
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Gewinner, Heinrich (2001) IRG Folder, Tateurndina ocellicauda, the files of the German - Internationale Gesellschaft für Regenbogenfische e. V. (IRG)
Herfort, A. and Rawlin, G.T. (1999) Australian Aquatic Animal Disease Identification Field Guide. Published by Agriculture Fisheries and Forrestry – Australia, Canberra.
Leach, G.J. and Osborne, P.L. (1985) Fresh Water Plants of Papua New Guinea
Lever, C. & Camm, M. (1996) Naturalised Fishes of the World
McKay, Roland J. (1984) Distribution, Biology, and management of Exotic Fishes, chapter 9 titled, Introductions of Exotic Fishes in Australia, The John Hopkins University Press.
McKay, Roland J. (1988) Exotic and Translocated Fishes in Australia, the proceedings of the workshop sponsored by the Asian Fisheries Society and the Australian International Development Bureau.
Meffe, G.M. and Nelson, F.F. (1989) Ecology and Evolution of Livebearing Fishes (Poeciliids)
Munro, Ian. (1967) Key & Description. The Fishes of New Guinea 1967: 516, 524
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Tappin, Adrian. (1998) Rainbowfish on-line, the peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) World Wide Web electronic publication http://www.ecn.net.au/~atappin/peacock.htm
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Legislation and Government Organisations
The Australian Quarantine Inspection service (July 1999) "Import Risk Analysis on Live Ornamental Finfish" . Available as an electronic publication on the World Wide Web at universal resource locator http://www.affa.gov.au
The National Policy for the Translocation of Live Aquatic Organisms – Issues, Principles and Guidelines for Implementation". The Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Agriculture 1999. The details of this agreement is available as an electronic publication on the World Wide Web at universal resource locator at http://www.bra.gov.au/fish/translocation.html
Office International des Epizooties, objectives and protocols available from World Wide Web electronic publication universal resource locator http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm
Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Australian Commonwealth Legislation available as an electronic publication from the world wide web at universal resource locator http://www.erin.gov.au/epbc/index.html
Australian Bureau of Meteorology climate map available on the world wide web as an electronic publication at universal resource locator http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/environ/other/kpn.jpg
Northern Territory of Australia Fisheries Act and Northern Territory of Australia Fisheries Regulations As in force from 19 December 2001. Northern Territory Government Legislation available as an electronic publication from world wide web universal resource locator http://www.nt.gov.au
Western Australian Government Department of Fisheries introduced fishes page available on the world wide web at universal resource locator http://www.wa.gov.au/westfish/hab/broc/inland/index.html
Queensland Department of Primary Industry exotic pest fish information available on the world wide web at universal resource locator http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fishweb/1347.html
New South Wales Government department of Fisheries Alien Fish page. http://www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au/conservation/pests/alien_fish.htm
South Australian Department Primary Industry and Resources http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/search
Victorian Government Department of natural Resources and Environment noxious aquatic species list. http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/web/root/domino/cm_da/nrenfaq.nsf/frameset/NRE+Fishing+and+Aquaculture?OpenDocument
Northern Territory Department of Business Industry Resource Development Fisheries Division freshwater exotic fish page. http://www.nt.gov.au/dbird/dpif/fisheries/environment/pestman/apm_fresh.shtml
United States Geological Survey under the Department of the Interior web pages on exotic aquatic species in the USA. http://nas.er.usgs.gov/fishes/dont_rel.htm
Species list of non-indigenous fishes within the USA http://nas.er.usgs.gov/fishes/fisheslist.htm
Ecological Risk Assessment in the Federal Government (USA) Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the National Science and Technology Council May 1999 published by the Executive Office of the President of the United States National Science and Technology Council. http://www.nnic.noaa.gov/CENR/ecorisk.pdf
A national approach to the management of exotic fish species in the aquarium trade: An inventory of exotic freshwater species Report for Fisheries Resources Research Fund Alex McNee, Bureau of Rural Sciences published September 2002 Internet: http://www.affa.gov.au/output/ruralscience.html