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Neogobius melanostomus - Round goby

Synonym: Apollonia melanostomus
French name:  Gobie à taches noires
Dutch name: Zwartbekgrondel
Family: Gobiidae
Group: Fish
Origin: Asia, Europe
Habitat: brackish, freshwater
Introduction:  accidental
ISEIA Score : 12
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 2012
Invasion stage: unknown
Spatial distribution: restricted
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: high
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Round goby is a bottom dwelling fish that lives in slow brackish (estuaries) and fresh waters. It is typically found near rocky substrates and among zebra mussel beds, but also in fine gravel and sandy bottoms in which it may burrow. It migrates to deeper waters in winter (50-60 m) and may travel over distances up to some kilometers. It also takes advantage of human assisted dispersion means (e.g. ballast waters and navigation canals). As the diet of the round goby mainly consists in zebra mussel in its native range, invasion by this bivalve may have facilitated fish establishment in North America and in Western Europe.
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: high
Competition: high
Disease transmission: likely
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: likely
Physical alteration: likely
Natural successions: low
Food web alteration: high
More on impacts: Round goby is a voracious feeder of benthic freshwater invertebrates (e.g. bivalves) and small fishes. It has been reported to reduce populations of native fish through predation and food competition, due to its ability to feed in darkness. Adults aggressively defend spawning sites and may occupy prime spawning areas, keeping natives out. Round goby may rapidly become a dominant fish species and may be responsible for fish species displacement and for impoverishment of aquatic communities. It may become a vector of bioaccumulation, with contaminants becoming passed from bivalves it preys upon to birds (cormorants) and humans that eat them. It is also known to host non-native parasites.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Verreycken Hugo.
Published on:  18 September 2014
Last update:  31 October 2014
Copp, G.H., Vilizzi, L., Mumford, J., Fenwick, G.V., Godard, M.J. & Gozlan, R.E. (2009)
Calibration of FISK, an Invasiveness Screening Tool for Nonnative Freshwater Fishes.
Risk Analysis 29 (3).
Fuller, P., Benson, A. & Maynard, E. (2009)
Apollonia [=Neogobius] melanostomus.
USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL.
ISSG (Invasive Species Specialist Group) (2006)
Online fact sheets
Global Invasive Species Database, IUCN.
Kottelat, M. & Freyhof, K. (2007)
Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes.
Kottelat, Cornol, Switserland and Freyhof, Berlin, Germany, 646 p.
Kvach Y. (2002)
Round goby’s parasites in native habitats and in a place of invasion.
Oceanological Studies, 31(1-2): 51-57.
Kvach, Y. & Skóra, K.E. (2007)
Metazoa parasites of the invasive round goby Apollonia melanostoma (Neogobius melanostomus) (Pallas) (Gobiidae: Osteichthyes) in the Gulf of Gdańsk, Baltic Sea, Poland: a comparison with the Black Sea.
Parasitology Research 100(4): 767-774.
Pakkasmaa, S. & Almqvist, G. (2007)
The round goby Neogobius melanostomus in the Baltic Sea.
In: abstract book of the 5th Environmental Symposium of the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation (Alien Species): 44.
Sapota, M.R. (2006)
Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet Neogobius melanostomus.
From Online Database of the North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species (NOBANIS).
Verreycken, H., Breine, J.J., Snoeks, J. & Belpaire, C. (2011)
First record of the round goby, Neogobius melanostomus (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Gobiidae) in Belgium.
Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 41 (2): 137–140.
van Beek, G.C.W. (2006)
The round goby Neogobius melanostomus first recorded in the Netherlands.
Aquatic Invasions 1(1): 42-43.
van Beek, G.C.W. (2005)
Zwartbekgrondel: een nieuwe invasieve vissoort voor Nederland?
De Levende Natuur 106 (4): 170-171.

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