Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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VERMICULATED SAILFIN CATFISH
SUCKERMOUTH SAILFIN CATFISH
Not native to Florida
Native to the Madeira River drainage of the Amazon Basin in South America, this invasive catfish can now be found in numerous waterways of central and south Florida. Probably introduced though aquarium releases and fish farm escapes, they are now abundant in several areas of the state. Grazing and removing attached algae, feeding on bottom-dwelling organisms and detrious and digging into the riverbanks may be causing significant impacts on the ecosystem including the aquatic food base that native species depend upon.
Vermiculated sailfin catfish grow to 70cm in length and can often be seen attached to manatees in spring runs such as at Blue Spring State Park.