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Oriental weatherloach threaten Murray River


Oriental weatherloach threaten Murray River

Oriental weatherloach have been found in Chowilla floodplain near Renmark in South Australia and a task force will be formed to address the threat.

Oriental weatherloach were brought into Australia in the 1960s by the aquarium fish industry. They spread through accidental releases and also when used as live bait by recreational anglers. The first breeding population in the wild was discovered in Victoria in 1984. It is currently found in the Murray and Murrumbidgee watersheds and many northern Victorian rivers.

The oriental weatherloach is a cylindrical fish with a rounded tail and small eyes, and is about 200 mm in length. The skin is a mottled green/grey with a noticeable black spot near the tail. The fish is very slippery to handle. It can cross land for short distances.
Females lay between 4,000 and 8,000 eggs, which hatch after just a few days.


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