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Invasive Species: Oriental Weatherfish

Japanese/Oriental Weatherfish

(Misgurnus anguillicaudatus)
*Detected in Michigan*


Report this species:

Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool.

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  • Eel-like body that’s brown with greenish grey-brown marbled marking on the dorsal side and pale silver coloration on the ventral side.
  • small, narrow mouth with thick and fleshy lips and six barbels.
  • Body length may reach 28 centimeters, but averages are smaller.
  • Sexually dimorphic, where the female is often longer than the male.

Japanese Weatherfish
Photo courtesy of Noel M. Burkhead US Geological Survey.

male and female japanese weatherfish
Photo courtesy of Pamela Woods.

Habitat: These fish are often found in shallow, low-gradient waters with muddy or silty substrates. They can survive in oxygen-poor waters and through long droughts by burrowing into soft substrates, owing to the intestine acting as an accessory respiratory organ.

Diet: Oriental weatherfish primarily consume small benthic invertebrates and detritus.

Native Range: Eastern Asia.

U.S. Distribution: Established in Shiawassee River and lower Michigan, New Jersey, and New York, Alabama, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Indiana, Oregon, and Washington; Has been collected in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Maryland.

Local Concern: Competition for aquatic insects puts native fish populations at risk. There may also be a significant reduction in macroinvertebrate abundance and an increase in turbidity and nitrogen levels of standing water.

Other Names: Japanese weatherfish, dojo, weather loach, Amur weatherfish.


Oriental Weatherfish Invasive Species Alert (printable PDF)