Invasive Species: Oriental Weatherfish
*Detected in Michigan*
Report this species:
- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone - MISIN.MSU.edu/tools/apps/#home.
- 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.
Photo courtesy of Noel M. Burkhead US Geological Survey.
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.