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Pimephales promelas - Fathead minnow

French name:  Vairon américain
Dutch name: Dikkopelrits
Family: Cyprinidae
Group: Fish
Origin: North America
Habitat: freshwater
Introduction:  game/fish stocking
ISEIA Score : 9
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 1986
Invasion stage: spread
Spatial distribution: restricted
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: medium
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Lives in sluggish and still water with abundant floating and submerged vegetation.
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: low
Competition: medium
Disease transmission: high
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: low
Physical alteration: low
Natural successions: low
Food web alteration: low
More on impacts: As a predator of eggs and larvae of other fish species, fathead minnow is considered as a potential pest. It is also responsible for the introduction of Yersinia ruckeri, the agent of the enteric redmouth disease.
Data Source & References
Authors: Anseeuw Dieter, Branquart Etienne, Lieffrig François, Micha Jean-Claude, Parkinson Denis, Verreycken Hugo
Published on:  11 June 2007
Last update:  26 January 2010
Anseeuw, D., Gaethofs, T. & Louette, G. (2005)
First record and morphometry of the non-indigenous fathead minnow Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque, 1820) (Teleostei, Cyprinidae) in Flanders (Belgium).
Belgian Journal of Zoology 135: 87-90.
Duffy, W.G (1998)
Population dynamics, production, and prey consumption of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in prairie wetlands: a bioenergetics approach.
Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 55: 15-27.
Keith, P (2001)
Le Tête de boule.
In : Keith, P. & Allardi, J., Atlas des poissons d’eau douce de France. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Service du Patrimoine Naturel, Paris : 194-195.
Peeler, E.J., Oidtmann, B.C., Midtlyng, P.J., Miossec, L. & Gozlan, R.E. (2011)
Non-native aquatic animals introductions have driven disease emergence in Europe.
Biological invasions 13 (6): 1291-1303.
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.
Welcomme, R.L. (1988)
International introductions of inland aquatic species.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 294, 318 pp.

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