, Volume 549, Issue 1, pp 187–196 | Cite as

Competitive Interactions between the Australian Native Fish Galaxiasmaculatus and the Exotic Mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki,in a Series of Laboratory Experiments

  • Alistair BeckerEmail author
  • Laurie J.B. Laurenson
  • Paul L. Jones
  • Dane M. Newman
Primary Research Paper


Competitive interactions between Galaxias maculatus, native to southeastern Australia, and Gambusia holbrooki, an exotic pest, were examined in relation to two types of artificial cover and a food source. Experiments were performed in an 800 l tank using photographic techniques. The relative distance of G. maculatus from cover or food source before and after the introduction of G. holbrooki were compared. Also, the proportions of the species were altered to examine the effects of unequal numbers on dominance behaviour. It was found that G. holbrooki was unable to out compete G. maculatus for either cover or food. The distance of G. maculatus from a food source was seen to increase following the introduction of G. holbrooki, when they outnumbered G. maculatus by 3 to 1. Although the distance from the food of␣G.␣maculatus increased following the introduction of G. holbrooki, in all cases the mean distance of G.␣maculatus from cover or food was less than that of G. holbrooki. Significant intra-species competition appeared to occur between G. maculatus and it may be that this competition had a greater effect than the competitive pressure G. holbrooki was able to place on the natives. This study revealed that the exotic pest species, G. holbrooki, could not out compete a small native Australian fish species.


competition artificial cover exotic fishes distances 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alistair Becker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laurie J.B. Laurenson
    • 1
  • Paul L. Jones
    • 1
  • Dane M. Newman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Ecology and EnvironmentDeakin UniversityWarrnamboolAustralia

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