Occurrence of suckermouth armored catfish (Siluriformes, Loricariidae, Pterygoplichthys) in inland waters of Israel.
Specimens of the South American suckermouth armored catfish genus Pterygoplichthys were recently (2011-2012) collected in inland waters of Israel, namely, Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and Nahal Amal ("Amal Stream"). Based mainly on color patterns, at least two different species, P. disjunctivus and P. pardalis, are included but there is a possibility that the wild populations are hybrids. These collections represent the first records of this genus in Israel. The source of these non-native catfish has not been confirmed; however, the presence of these species is likely the result of either aquarium release or escape from a fish hatchery that operated previously on the shores of Nahal Amal.