Introduction of invasive peacock bass (Cichla spp.), its rapid distribution and future impact on freshwater ecosystem in Malaysia.
Malaysia is recognised among the mega-diversity countries with the abundance of various freshwater species. Malaysian freshwater biodiversity is under threat after the introduction of an invasive peacock bass. The presence of this predator could challenge the coexistence of the native species. In the current review, the most important aspects regarding peacock bass threats to the biodiversity future of local species are addressed. Four non-native species of peacock bass are presently recognised in Malaysia. To date, the peacock bass species expand to all parts of Peninsular Malaysia with no records yet found in Kelantan and Borneo. Invasion success is more susceptible in Malaysian lakes (84.38%) compared to the dams, rivers and reservoirs. The mode of rapid expansion of this species is highly connected to the sport fishing and anglers. A propagule pressure, favourable habitat, prey abundance and feeding behaviours are responsible factors for the successful establishment of this species in Malaysia. The species are generalist feeders and piscivorous in nature. It is difficult to eradicate peacock bass since it provides physical jobs (recreation and tourism). However, the damage the species will cause in future is unpredictable. At this point, proper management of this species must be implemented to reduce its population. This could be achieved through updating checklists of freshwater bodies, improving monitoring systems and public awareness.