Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Pets and aquarium species (pathway vector)



Pets and aquarium species (pathway vector)


  • Last modified
  • 12 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pathway Vector
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Pets and aquarium species (pathway vector)
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Pets and aquarium species (pathway vector)

Species Transported by Vector

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Albizia adinocephala (cream albizia) Yes Barrance et al. (2004)
Amatitlania nigrofasciata (convict cichlid) Yes Yes Corfield et al. (2008); Magalhães and Jacobi (2013); Rixon et al. (2005)
Ambloplites rupestris (rock bass) Yes Yes
Ameiurus melas (black bullhead) Yes Yes
Ameiurus natalis Yes
Aphanomyces astaci Yes Yes Oidtmann et al. (2005)
Astronotus ocellatus (oscar) Yes Yes Corfield et al. (2008)
Avipoxvirus Yes Yes
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) Yes Une et al. (2008)
Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal)Trade of salamanders within countries and import of (Asian) salamanders to Europe and the Americas Yes Yes Martel et al. (2014)
Belonesox belizanus (pike killifish)Popular aquarium species Yes Yes Robins (2014)
Bothriocephalus acheilognathiAquarium fishes such as koi and goldfish Yes Yes Scholz et al. (2012)
Brachypodium sylvaticum (slender false brome)Seeds, likely. Not documented but given that ungulates carry seeds, dogs could too Yes
Callosciurus finlaysonii (Finlayson's squirrel) Yes Bertolino and Lurz (2013); Yanagawa (2000)
Carassius carassius (crucian carp) Yes
Carcinus maenas (European shore crab)low probability Yes Yes Green Crab Control Committee (GCCC) (2002)
Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea Yes Verlaque et al. (2003)
Caulerpa taxifolia (killer algae) Yes
Ceratophyllum demersum (coontail)Casual introductions and discarded material Yes
Ceratopteris thalictroides (watersprite)Used as an aquarium species Yes Yes PROTA (2020)
Channa argus argus (northern snakehead) Yes Yes Courtenay and Williams (2004)
Channa marulius (bullseye snakehead) Yes Yes Courtenay and Williams (2004); Froese and Pauly (2009)
Cherax destructor (yabby)F Gherardi, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Italy, pers. comm., 2011 Yes Yes
Cherax quadricarinatus (redclaw crayfish) Yes
Cichla ocellaris (peacock cichlid)A moderately popular aquarium species Yes Yes Seriously Fish (2016)
Cichlasoma urophthalmum (Mayan cichlid)Popular ornamental fish Yes Yes Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) (2016); Schofield et al. (2016)
Clarias batrachus (walking catfish) Yes Yes
Cochliomyia hominivorax (New World screwworm)Warm-blooded terrestrial pets Yes Yes
Corbicula fluminea (Asian clam)Reported for C. fluminea in France Yes Brancotte and Vincent (2002)
Crassula helmsii (Australian swamp stonecrop) Yes Yes OEPP/EPPO (2007)
Cromileptes altivelis (humpback grouper)Juveniles and adults, international trade by air and boat Yes Yes Sadovy (2000); Sadovy et al. (2007)
Ctenosaura similis (black spiny-tailed iguana)Brought as pets to Florida from Mexico Yes Krysko et al. (2003)
Cyprinus carpio (common carp) Yes Yes Hanchet (1990)
Daphnia lumholtziIntroduction via the aquarium trade is one hypothesis regarding the invasion of North America Yes Havel and Hebert (1993)
Desmodium incanum (creeping beggerweed)Sticky seeds could attach to furs, pelts etc. Yes Yes Mori and Brown (1998)
Dicrurus macrocercus Yes Yes BirdLife International (2012); KFBG (2004); Shepherd et al. (2004)
Elodea canadensis (Canadian pondweed)Casual introductions and discarded material Yes Bowmer et al.; 1995
Eriocheir sinensis (Chinese mitten crab) Yes Gollasch (2006)
Faxonius virilis (virile crayfish)Crayfish are distributed both legally and illegally through the aquarium trade Yes Yes Ahern et al. (2008)
Garrulax canorus (Chinese hwamei)Popular caged birds in China Yes Li et al. (2006)
Geophagus brasiliensis (pearl cichlid) Yes Yes Corfield et al. (2008)
Gracilaria tikvahiae (graceful red weed) Yes Yes Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (2008)
Gymnocoronis spilanthoides (Senegal tea plant)As an aquarium/pond plant Yes Yes Weeds CRC (2008)
Hemichromis letourneuxi (African jewelfish)Species of Hemichromis are popular aquarium fishes Yes Yes USGS (2016)
Hemidactylus frenatus (common house gecko)Commonly transported via the pet trade Yes Yes Meshaka et al. (1994); Krysko and Sheehy (2005)
Herichthys cyanoguttatus (Rio Grande cichlid) Yes Yes Nico et al. (2015)
Hydrocharis morsus-ranae Yes Yes Catling et al. (2003)
Hygrophila polysperma (Indian swampweed) Yes Yes FNW Disseminules (2007)
Hypostomus plecostomus (suckermouth catfish)All Yes Yes Hoover et al. (2014)
Juncus ensifolius (swordleaf rush) Yes NZPCN (New Zealand Plant Conservation Network) (2015)
Lagarosiphon major (African elodea) Yes Australia Natural Heritage Trust (2003)
Leiothrix lutea (red-billed leiothrix)Unknown Yes Yes
Lepomis gibbosus (pumpkinseed)All life stages as contaminants Yes
Lepomis gulosus (warmouth)See distribution table and list Yes Yes
Lepomis macrochirus (bluegill) Yes
Limnobium laevigatum (South American spongeplant) Yes Yes Encyclopedia of Life (2016)
Limnocharis flava (yellow bur-head) Yes
Marisa cornuarietis (giant ramshorn) Yes Yes
Melanoides tuberculata (red-rimmed melania) Yes
Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (oriental weatherloach) Yes
Myriophyllum aquaticum (parrot's feather)As whole plants for garden and aquarium use Yes Yes Gregory (2003); Kay and Hoyle (2001)
Myriophyllum heterophyllum (broadleaf watermilfoil) Yes Yes
Myriophyllum spicatum (spiked watermilfoil) Yes Yes
Oreochromis aureus (blue tilapia)All life stages Yes Yes Courtenay et al. (1984)
Pantherophis guttatus (corn snake)Pet trade Yes Yes Enge (1994)
Parthenium hysterophorus (parthenium weed)Attached to domestic animals Yes Baiwa et al. (2016)
Pethia conchonius Yes Yes Corfield et al. (2008); Rixon et al. (2005)
Phalloceros caudimaculatus (dusky millions fish)Australia Yes Yes Lintermans (2004)
Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow) Yes Yes USGS (2012)
Pistia stratiotes (water lettuce) Yes Yes Gherardi (2007)
Plasmodium relictumIllegal smuggling and release of infected pet birds Yes Moulton et al. (2001)
Poecilia latipinna (sailfin molly)Popular ornamental species Yes Yes Magalhães and Jacobi (2010)
Poecilia reticulata (guppy)Common import into developed countries as ornamental fish. Yes
Pomacea maculataJuveniles and adults Yes Yes
Pomoxis nigromaculatus (black crappie)All life stages Yes Yes Welcomme (1988)
Potamogeton crispus (curlyleaf pondweed) Yes Yes Stuckey (1979)
Procambarus fallax f. virginalis (Marmorkrebs)C Chucholl, University of Ulm, Germany, personal communication, 2011 Yes
Pseudorasbora parva (topmouth gudgeon)All life stages as contaminants Yes Yes Copp et al. (2005b)
Psittacus erithacus (African grey parrot) Yes Yes CITES (2005)
Rana catesbeiana (American bullfrog) Yes Yes
Salvinia molesta (kariba weed) Yes Yes McFarland et al. (2004)
Spirodela polyrrhiza (giant duckweed)An ornamental aquarium species Yes Yes Les (2020)
Streptopelia decaocto (Eurasian collared-dove) Yes Yes Hengeveld (1988); Hengeveld (1993)
Thorichthys meeki (firemouth cichlid)Most introduced populations are likely to have resulted from the release of ornamental fish Yes Yes Nico et al. (2014)
Tilapia zillii (redbelly tilapia)All life stages Yes Yes Hogg (1976)
Trioceros jacksonii (Jackson’s chameleon)Occasionallly transported via the pet trade Yes Yes Kraus et al. (2012); McKeown (1996); McKeown (1997)
Umbra pygmaea (eastern mudminnow) Yes Verreycken et al. (2010)
Vallisneria spiralis (eelweed)Vegatative plants Yes Yes
Varanus niloticus (Nile monitor)Pet trade Yes Yes Enge et al. (2004)
Xiphophorus helleriiPopular ornamental species Yes Yes Corfield et al. (2007)
Xiphophorus maculatus (southern platyfish)Popular ornamental species Yes Yes Corfield et al. (2007)