Ameiurus melas (Rafinesque, 1820)

Black bullhead, black bullhead catfish

Description 1

Small-sized siluriform, does not usually reach longer than 40 cm in Spain. Can live for up to 10 years. The body has no scales and is covered in mucus. Blackish colour except in the ventral area (yellowish). The size of the head and mouth stand out, around which there are four pairs of long barbels). Two dorsal fins, the second of which is adipose, similar to that of salmonoids.

Biology 1

Sexual maturity from the second year on. Spawns from March to July, at temperatures from 18-21oC, excavating holes of some 16 cm in the bed, where they deposit some 2,000-5,000 eggs. Eclosion at 4-10 days, with fingerlings mainly guarded by the father, for up to 2 weeks. Bottom fish which forms large groups for nocturnal activity, a voracious omnivore: predator of fish, eggs, fingerlings, insect larvae, molluscs, crustaceans and even amphibians and vegetables.

Habitat 1

Easily penetrates the mid and low sections of rivers as well as lagoons and dead water with plenty of vegetation a soft bottom and slow current. Can survive dry periods, buried in sandy loam and even water with high turbidity, low concentration of oxygen and high contamination and temperature levels (from 8 to over 30oC). Easily adapts to new environments.

Sources 1

Spanish Catalogue of Exotic Invasive Species, Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Peces Continentales de España [Atlas and Red Book of Continental Fish of Spain].

Spanish Catalogue of Exotic Invasive Species – Fishes 1

http://www.magrama.gob.es/es/biodiversidad/temas/conservacion-de-especies/especies-exoticas-invasoras/ce_eei_peces.aspx

Fuentes y Créditos

  1. Adaptado por INVASORES - administrador de un trabajo de (c) cartotragsatec, algunos derechos reservados (CC BY), http://natusfera.gbif.es/guide_taxa/29

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