Biological Invasions

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 37–40 | Cite as

Exotic fish species in a global biodiversity hotspot: observations from River Chalakudy, part of Western Ghats, Kerala, India

  • Rajeev RaghavanEmail author
  • Gopalan Prasad
  • P. H. Anvar-Ali
  • Benno Pereira
Original Paper


We record here the occurrence of five exotic fish species viz Oreochromis mossambicus, Gambusia affinis, Osphronemus goramy, Xiphophorus maculatus and Poecilia reticulata in the Chalakudy River, part of the Western Ghats, a global biodiversity hotspot in Kerala, India. O. mossambicus was ubiquitous in occurrence with large shoals being encountered at all sampling sites spread along the downstream-upstream gradient of the river, including at an altitude of 1050 m ASL. Osphronemus goramy was recorded from the downstream region of the river while Gambusia affinis was recorded from three sampling sites located downstream as well as midstream. Xiphophorus maculatus was collected from a second order stream flowing through a tea plantation at an altitude of 1050 m ASL. Samples of brooders and early fry of Poecilia reticulata indicate that the fish has already established a breeding population in the river. Possible threats to the indigenous fish fauna of the Chalakudy River as a result of the invasion and proliferation of these exotics is discussed.


Biodiversity hotspot Exotics Fish India Kerala Western Ghats 



The authors are grateful to Dr. Larry Page, Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) for generous grants of funds through the All Catfish Species Inventory Project (ACSI). Thanks are also due to the graduate students of the Department of Aquaculture, St. Albert’s College for their unstinted help during the field trips.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajeev Raghavan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gopalan Prasad
    • 2
  • P. H. Anvar-Ali
    • 2
  • Benno Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AquacultureSt. Albert’s CollegeKochiIndia
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of KeralaKariavattom, TrivandrumIndia

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