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Ameiurus nebulosus - Brown bullhead

Synonym: Ictalurus nebulosus
French name:  Poisson-chat américain
Dutch name: Bruine amerikaanse dwergmeerval
Family: Ictaluridae
Group: Fish
Origin: North America
Habitat: freshwater
Introduction:  aqua- and mariculture
ISEIA Score : 10
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 1871
Invasion stage: regression
Spatial distribution: restricted
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: medium
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: The brown bullhead lives in standing and slow-running waters; it can resist to low oxygen levels, water pollution and high temperatures.
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)

Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: medium
Competition: high
Disease transmission: likely
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: low
Physical alteration: low
Natural successions: low
Food web alteration: likely
More on impacts: This omnivorous fish species can form very dense populations and is able to dominate freshwater fish communities. Diet of large-sized bullheads has been found to consist almost exclusively of juvenile fishes. Although there is some concern about its strong competitive and predation ability, it is difficult to find hard evidence of species displacement or ecosystem disruption.
Data Source & References
Authors: Anseeuw Dieter, Branquart Etienne, Lieffrig François, Louette G., Micha Jean-Claude, Parkinson Denis, Verreycken Hugo
Published on:  13 November 2007
Last update:  02 August 2011
Declerck , S., Louette, G., De Bie, T. & De Meester, L. (2002)
Patterns of diet overlap between populations of non-indigenous and native fishes in shallow ponds.
Journal of Fish Biology 61 (5), 1182-1197 pp.
Dextrase, A.J. & Mandrak, N.E. (2006)
Impacts of Alien Invasive Species on Freshwater Fauna at Risk in Canada.
Biological Invasions 8(1): 13-24.
Dugdale, T.M., Hicks, B.J., De Winton, M. & Taumoepeau A. (2005)
Fish exclosures versus intensive fishing to restore charophytes in a shallow New Zealand lake.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 16:193-202.
Godin J. (2005)
Les espèces animales invasives des milieux aquatiques et humides du bassin Artois-Picardie
Agence de l'Eau Artois-Picardie.
Louette G. & Declerck S. (2006)
Assessment and control of non-indigeneous brown bullhead Ameiurus nebulosus populations using fyke nets in shallow ponds.
Journal of Fish Biology 68: 522-531.
Louette, G., Declerck, S., De Bie, T., Van Thuyne, G. & De Meester, L. (2004)
De bruine Amerikaanse dwergmeerval in Vlaanderen: historiek, ecologie en beheer.
Natuur.focus 3(2): 46-50.
Philippart, JC. (2004)
Pêche et conservation de la nature en Région wallonne : espèces indigènes et non indigènes.
Actes du colloque 'La gestion piscicole, Natura 2000 et la directive cadre sur l'eau. Liège, Château de Colonster.
Verreycken, H. (2006)
Niet-inheemse vissoorten
From online fact sheets of the Flemish Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), VLINA-project 00/11
Verreycken, H., Anseeuw, D., Van Thuyne, G., Quataert, P. & Belpaire, C. (2007)
The non-indigenous freshwater fishes of Flanders (Belgium): review, status and trends over the last decade.
Journal of Fish Biology 71 (Suppl. D): 160-172.
Vooren, C.M. (1972)
Ecological aspects of the introduction of fish species into natural habitats in Europe, with special reference to the Netherlands.
Journal of Fish Biology 4: 565-583.
Welcomme, R.L. (1988)
International introductions of inland aquatic species.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 294, 318 pp.
Wittenberg, R. (2005)
An inventory of alien species and their threat to biodiversity and economy in Switzerland.
CABI Bioscience Switzerland Centre report to the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape. The environment in practice no. 0629: 155p.
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