Abbottina rivularis (Chinese false gudgeon)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Water Tolerances
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Abbottina rivularis (Basilewsky, 1855)
Preferred Common Name
- Chinese false gudgeon
Other Scientific Names
- Abbottina psegma Jordan & Fowler, 1903
- Abbottina rivularis Mori, 1934
- Abbottina sinensis Nichols, 1943
- Gobio rivularis Basilewsky, 1855
- Pseudogobio rivularis Bleeker, 1871
- Pseudogobio sinensis Günther, 1968
- Tylognathus sinensis Kner, 1867
International Common Names
- English: Amur false gudgeon
Local Common Names
- Japan: tsuchifuki
- Russian Federation: Amurskiy lzhepeskar; kitaiskiy lzhepeskar; rechnaya abbottina
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
A. rivularis is considered as a pest in fish farms in central Asia and the plateau areas in China where it competes with juveniles of commercial species. In the wild it harms the local fish fauna, displacing small size native fish species such as the Turkestan gudgeon, with which it may also probably hybridize (Mitrofanov et al., 1988; Yan and Chen, 2007).
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Cypriniformes
- Family: Cyprinidae
- Genus: Abbottina
- Species: Abbottina rivularis
DescriptionTop of page
A. rivularis is a small fish (11.5 cm in total length; Dolganova et al., 2008) with terete body. Mouth is sub-terminal. Lower lip continuous, with two median lobes along its posterior margin, separated by a median furrow. One pair of short maxillary barbels. Anus closer to ventral-fin base than to anal-fin base. Body with 6-8 rounded dusky blotches along the lateral line (Berg, 1949).
Lateral line 35-38. The gill raker count of the first arch 9-13. D III 8, A II-III 5-7 (measurements from specimens from Uzbekistan) (Khurshut et al., 1996).
DistributionTop of page
The native range of A. rivularis is East Asia: from Far East Russia (Amur=Heilong, Ussuri and Sungari=Songhua rivers, Khanka=Xingkai Lake) in the north, through China, West Korea and Japan to North Vietnam (Red River Basin) in the south (Berg, 1949; Banarescu, 1991; Vidthayanon and Kottelat, 1995).
A. rivularis is widely distributed outside of the native range from Europe (Neely et al., 2008) to South-East Asia.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|China||Present||Native||Berg, 1949; Banarescu, 1991; Nie et al., 2000||Yangtze Drainage|
|-Anhui||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|-Beijing||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|-Guangxi||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|-Hebei||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|-Heilongjiang||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011||Heilong (/Amur) and Songhua (/Sungari) rivers, Xingkai (/Khanka) Lake|
|-Hubei||Present||Native||Not invasive||Xie et al., 2001b||Liangzi Lake|
|-Hunan||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|-Jilin||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|-Liaoning||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011||Streams draining to Gulf of Chihli (/Bo Hai)|
|-Nei Menggu||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|-Shandong||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|-Tibet||Localised||Introduced||Invasive||YF Chen, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, personal communication, 2012||Lasa River|
|-Yunnan||Widespread||Introduced||1963-1965||Invasive||Yang, 1996||Most lakes and rivers|
|-Zhejiang||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011|
|Japan||Present||Native||Not invasive||Masuda, 1992|
|Kazakhstan||Widespread||Introduced||1958||Invasive||Mitrofanov, 1967; Mitrofanov et al., 1992; Savvaitova and Petr, 1999; Mamilov NSh, 2011||First introduced into Almaty Fish Farm. Syr Darya, Chu, Ili and Talas drainages, Balkhash Lake|
|Korea, DPR||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011||West Korea|
|Korea, Republic of||Present||Native||Not invasive||GBIF, 2011||West Korea|
|Kyrgyzstan||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Savvaitova and Petr, 1999||Chu Basin|
|Laos||Present||Introduced||Kottelat, 2001; Welcomme and Vidthayanon, 2003||Mekong River|
|Mongolia||Localised||Introduced||Invasive||Neely et al., 2008||Buyr (Nuur) Lake Basin|
|Myanmar||Widespread||Introduced||Neely et al., 2008||Salween Drainage|
|Thailand||Present||Vidthayanon and Kottelat, 1995||Upper and middle Mekong River|
|Turkmenistan||Widespread||Introduced||1958-1961||Invasive||Aliyev et al., 1988; Sal'nikov and Reshetnikov, 1991; Shakirova and Sukhanova, 1994; Sal'nikov, 1995; Sal'nikov, 1998||First introduced into Karametniyaz Fish Farm (55 km W from Kerki, Amu Darya River) and the Kara-Kum (/Qaraqum/Garagum) Canal. Amu Darya and Murghab rivers. Probably Tedjen River|
|Uzbekistan||Widespread||Introduced||1961||Invasive||Kamilov and Borisova, 1966; Borisova, 1972; Kamilov and Urchinov, 1995; Khurshut et al., 1996; Khurshut, 2002||First introduced into Baliqchi Fish Farm, Tashkent Region (60 km SW from Tashkent, Syr Darya and Chirchik rivers junction). Amu Darya, Syr Darya, Zarafshan, Qashqadarya drainages. Most water bodies in plains of the Aral Sea Basin|
|Vietnam||Present||Native||Not invasive||Vidthayanon and Kottelat, 1995||Red River Basin|
|Czech Republic||Present||Introduced||Neely et al., 2008|
|Poland||Present||Introduced||Neely et al., 2008|
|Russian Federation||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Russian Far East||Present||Native||Invasive||Reshetnikov, 1998; Shed'ko, 2001; Kolpakov et al., 2010||Native in Amur drainage and Khanka Lake; introduced and invasive in the Artemovka River (Ussuri Bay, Sea of Japan / East Sea) and Razdolnaya River (Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan/East Sea)|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Outside of its native area, A. rivularis was first reported from Central Asia where it was unintentionally introduced in 1958 from the Yangtze River to the Karametniyaz fish farm and the Kara-Kum Canal, Turkmenistan (Sal'nikov, 1998) and from the Amur drainage to the Almaty fish farm, Kazakhstan (Mitrofanov et al., 1992). In 1961, it was introduced (with the larvae of Asian carp) into the Akkurgan (later Baliqchi) fish farm, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was transferred with fish seed to other fish farms of the region. A. rivularis has escaped from fish farms and via the extensive network of irrigation canals has spread to the plains of the Aral Sea Basin (drainages of the rivers Amu Darya, Syr Darya, Zarafshan and Qashqadarya).
A. rivularis was unintentionally introduced from Khanka Lake and probably from China as a result of aquaculture activity into the Razdolnaya River (Far East Russia) (Kolpakov et al., 2008).
It was probably unintentionally introduced with common carp into the Mekong River; however, it could be indigenous to the upper part of the river (Vidthayanon and Kottelat, 1995).
A. rivularis was unintentionally introduced from the lower reach of the Yangtze River to most plateau lakes in Yunnan and some plateau rivers in Xizang, China, as a result of aquaculture activities into these plateau lakes and rivers (Yan and Chen, 2007).
IntroductionsTop of page
|Introduced to||Introduced from||Year||Reason||Introduced by||Established in wild through||References||Notes|
|Natural reproduction||Continuous restocking|
|Kazakhstan||China||1958-59||Aquaculture (pathway cause)||Yes||No||Mitrofanov et al. (1992)||Introduced from the Amur drainage to the Almaty Fish Farm|
|Mongolia||China||Aquaculture (pathway cause)||Yes||No||Neely et al. (2008)||Released with Asian carp on the Chinese side of the Buyr Lake|
|Turkmenistan||China||1958-61||Aquaculture (pathway cause)||Yes||No||Sal'nikov (1998); Sal'nikov and Reshetnikov (1991)||Karemetniyaz Fish Farm (55 km W from Kerki, Amu Darya River)|
|Uzbekistan||China||1961||Aquaculture (pathway cause)||Yes||No||Borisova (1972); Kamilov and Borisova (1966); Khurshut (2002)||Baliqchi Fish Farm, Tashkent region (60 km SW from Tashkent. Syr Darya and Chirchik rivers junction)|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
The main pathway is the transfer of fish seed between fish farms. A. rivularis escapes from fishponds and spreads in wild via irrigation canals. To prevent spread all transported fish seed should be properly checked for the presence of A. rivularis before release into ponds.
HabitatTop of page
A. rivularis is found in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, canals, and marshes. It keeps to the water surface in stagnant waters and inhabits the shallow zones of lentic rivers, lakes and ponds with sandy or muddy bottoms.
Habitat ListTop of page
|Irrigation channels||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Irrigation channels||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Lakes||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Reservoirs||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rivers / streams||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rivers / streams||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Ponds||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Estuaries||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
The chromosome number of A. rivularis is 2n=50, n=25 (Vasil'ev, 1980; Arai, 2011). It is probable that it may hybridize with the native Turkestan gudgeon (Gobio gobio lepidolaemus) (Mitrofanov et al., 1988). The DNA barcode from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene of A. rivularis is described by Tang et al. (2011).
The complete mitogenome of A. rivularis was determined to be 16.6 kbp (Liu et al., 2016; Wang et al., 2016).
The male builds a nest 12-43 cm in diameter on the river bottom, at a depth of 8-34 cm, which it protects. In the Amur River 1711 eggs were found in a single nest (Berg, 1949).
In the Amur River sexual maturity is attained at the age of 1 year and a length of 4-5 cm. Spawning is fractional and takes place from June to July. Egg diameter is 2-2.5 mm. Absolute fecundity is 1198-1980 eggs (Nikolski, 1956).
In Kazakhstan A. rivularis spawns in April-August. Here absolute fecundity is 1550-7550 eggs (Mitrofanov et al., 1988).
The longevity of A. rivularis is 4 years (Nikolski, 1956).
In spring A. rivularis comes closer to shore in backwaters and bays. In autumn it moves to deeper parts (Nikolski, 1956).
A. rivularis is a benthophagous species. In the Amur River it feeds on larvae of chironomids, Heleidae, oligochaetes and plant seeds. In the middle reach of the Yangtze River it feeds on copepods, macrophytes, plant detritus, cladocerans, aquatic insects, and decapods (Xie et al., 2001a).
The data on feeding of A. rivularis in the estuaries of Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan/East Sea) are represented in Dolganova et al. (2008).
In Kazakhstan it feeds on larvae of chironomids and dipterans, crustaceans, remains of macrophytes, seeds of terrestrial plants, and algae (Mamilova, 1975).
Natural Food Sources
Contribution to total food intake (%)
Kapchagay reservoir, Kazakhstan
Balkhash Lake, Kazakhstan
ClimateTop of page
|BS - Steppe climate||Tolerated||> 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation|
|BW - Desert climate||Tolerated||< 430mm annual precipitation|
|Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year|
|Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter||Preferred||Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)|
|Df - Continental climate, wet all year||Preferred||Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)|
|Ds - Continental climate with dry summer||Tolerated||Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)|
|Dw - Continental climate with dry winter||Preferred||Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)|
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||12||30|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||-15||14|
Water TolerancesTop of page
|Parameter||Minimum Value||Maximum Value||Typical Value||Status||Life Stage||Notes|
|Depth (m b.s.l.)||0||10||Optimum|
|Water pH (pH)||7||Optimum||(Baensch and Fischer, 1998)|
|Water temperature (ºC temperature)||18||23||Optimum||(Baensch and Fischer, 1998)|
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
The main pathway for A. rivularis is the fish seed transfer between farms.
Impact SummaryTop of page
Economic ImpactTop of page
A. rivularis is considered as a pest in fish farms where it competes with commercial species for food.
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Impact on Biodiversity
A. rivularis competes with native species, and has displaced native species in Central Asia. It probably hybridizes with the native Turkestan gudgeon (Gobio gobio lepidolaemus) (Mitrofanov et al., 1988).
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Invasive in its native range
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Has a broad native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Is a habitat generalist
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
- Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
- Has high reproductive potential
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Negatively impacts aquaculture/fisheries
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Threat to/ loss of native species
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
- Difficult to identify/detect in the field
- Difficult/costly to control
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
In Central Asia A. rivularis may be confused with the native species the Turkestan gudgeon (Gobio gobio lepidolaemus). A. rivularis is easy to recognize by concave area in front of nares; dorsal fin with convex distal margin; caudal fin with several vertical rows of black dots.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
To prevent spread all transported fish seed should be properly checked for the presence of A. rivularis before release into ponds.
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
Data on environmental requirements of A. rivularis and its interactions with native species are insufficient.
ReferencesTop of page
Aliyev DS, Sukhanova AI, Shakirov FM, 1988. Fishes of inland waters of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: Ylym, 156 pp
Arai R, 2011. Fish Karyotypes: A Check List. Springer, 348 pp
Baensch HA, Fischer GW, 1998. Aquarien Atlas., Germany: Mergus
Barabanshchikov EI, Magomedov RA, 2002. Species composition and some features of biology of fishes in the estuaries of Southern Primorye's rivers. Izv. TINRO, 131:179-200
Berg LS, 1949. Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries. Moscow, Russia: USSR Academy of Sciences
Borisova AT, 1972. Accidental invaders in water bodies of Uzbekistan. Journal of Ichthyology, 12(1):49-53
Dolganova NT, Kolpakov NV, Chuchukalo VI, 2008. Feeding interactions and foraging of juvenile fish and shrimp in the Estuaries of Peter the Great Bay in the summer-fall period. Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 34(7):482-489
Kamilov GC, Borisova AT, 1966. Low-value and pest fish species in "Kalgan-Chirchik" fish farm. In: Vertebrates of Central Asia. Tashkent, Tashkent 31-32
Kamilov GK, Urchinov ZU, 1995. Fish and fisheries in Uzbekistan under the impact of irrigated agriculture. In: Inland fisheries under the impact of irrigated agriculture: Central Asia. Rome, Italy: FAO, 10-41
Khurshut EE, 2002. Invasive fish species in the Charvak reservoir. In: Biodiversity of the West Tien Shan: protection and efficient use. Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Chinor ENK, 253-257
Khurshut EE, Kamilov B, Salikhov TV, 1996. Morphology of Common Sawbelly and Amur False Gudgeon from Water bodies in Uzbekistan. Doklady Akad. Nauk Uzbek SSR, 1-2:61-63
Kolpakov NV, Barabanshchikov EI, Chepurnoi AYu, 2010. Species composition, distribution, and biological conditions of nonindigenous fishes in the estuary of the Razdol'naya River (Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan). Russian Journal of Biological Invasions, 1(2):87-94. http://www.maik.ru/abstract/bioinv/10/bioinv0087_abstract.pdf
Liu Guo-Di, Chen I-Shiung, Zhu Jun-Quan, Shen Chia-Ning, 2014. The complete mitochondrial genome of Chinese rod gugeon Abbottina rivularis (Cypriniformes, Cyprinidae). Mitochondrial DNA, 27(1), 523-524.
Mamilov NSh, 2011. Modern diversity of alien fish species in Chu and Talas river basins. Russian Journal of Biological Invasions, 4(1):65-76
Mamilova RH, 1975. The nature of the diet of certain minor commercial and rough fish species in Kapchagai reservoir. Biologicheskie nauki, 9:135-141
Masuda H, 1992. The Fishes of the Japanese archipelago. Tokyo, Japan: Tokai University Press
Mitrofanov VP, 1967. Characteristics of fish fauna of water bodies of the inundation area of Kapchagai reservoir. In: Biological Basis of Fisheries in Central Asian republics and Kazakhstan. Balkhash, Kazakhstan 193-195
Mitrofanov VP, Dukravets GM, Mel'nikov VA, Baimbetov AA, 1988. Fishes of Kazakhstan. Vol. 3. Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan: Nauka, 304 pp
Mitrofanov VP, Dukravets GM, Sidorova AF, 1992. Fishes of Kazakhstan. Vol. 5. Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan: Gylym, 464 pp
Neely DA, Perez MHS, Mendsaikhan B, 2008. First records of Rhinogobius lindbergi (Teleostei: Gobiidae) and Abbottina rivularis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in the Lake Buyr Drainage, Mongolia. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 34(2):334-341
Nie P, Wang GT, Yao WJ, Zhang YA, Gao Q, 2000. Occurrence of Bothriocephalus acheilognathi in cyprinid fish from three lakes in the flood plain of the Yangtze River, China. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 41(1):81-82
Nikolski GV, 1956. Fishes of the River Amur basin. Results of the 1945-1949 Amur ichthyological expedition., Russia: Izdatelstvo Akad. Nauk SSSR, 551 pp
Reshetnikov YuS, 1998. Annotated catalog of cyclostomes and fishes of continental waters of Russia. Moscow, Russia: Nauka, 220 pp
Sal'nikov VB, 1995. Possible changes in the composition of the ichthyofauna after completion of the Karakum Canal in Turkmenistan. Journal of Ichthyology, 35(7):108-121
Sal'nikov VB, 1998. Anthropogenic Migration of Fish in Turkmenistan. Journal of Ichthyology, 38(8):591-602
Sal'nikov VB, Reshetnikov YuS, 1991. Formation of fish community of manmaid reservoirs in Turkmenistan. Journal of Ichthyology, 31(4):565-575
Savvaitova KA, Petr T, 1999. Fish and fisheries in Lake Issyk-Kul (Tien Shan), River Chu and Pamir lakes. In: Fish and fisheries at higher altitudes: Asia [ed. by Petr, T.]. Rome, Italy: FAO, 279-304. [FAO Fisheries Technical Paper.]
Shakirova FM, Sukhanova AI, 1994. The ichthyofauna of Turkmenistan (composition and distribution). Izv. AN Turkmenistana. Ser. Biologicheskie nauki, 3:35-45
Shed'ko NE, 2001. List of cyclostomes and fishes of fresh waters of Primorye coast,. In: Chteniya pamyati Vladimira Yakovlevicha Levanidova. 220-249
Tang KL, Agnew MK, Chen WJ, Vincent Hirt M, Raley ME, Sado T, Schneider LM, Yang L, Bart HL, He S, Liu H, Miya M, Saitoh K, Simons AM, Wood RM, Mayden RL, 2011. Phylogeny of the gudgeons (Teleostei: Cyprinidae: Gobioninae). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol, 61(1):103-124
Vasil'ev VP, 1980. Chromosome numbers in fish-like vertebrates and fish. J. Ichthyol, 20(3):1-38
Vidthayanon C, Kottelat M, 1995. First record of Abbottina rivularis (Cyprinidae: Gobioninae) from the Mekong Basin. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 41(4):463-465
Wang H, Yang X, Wang X, Li C, Gu J, Yang S, He L, Lv S, Huang P, 2016. Sequence identification and description of the mitochondrial genome of Abbottina rivularis (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). MItochnodrial DNA, 27(2), 1393-1394.
Welcomme RL, Vidthayanon C, 2003. Impacts of Introductions and Stocking of Exotic Species in the Mekong Basin & Policies for Control. Impacts of Introductions and Stocking of Exotic Species in the Mekong Basin & Policies for Control. Mekong River Commission (MRC), unpaginated. http://www.mrcmekong.org/pdf/Technical_paper9.pdf
Xie S, Cui Y, Li Z, 2001. Dietary-morphological relationships of fishes in Liangzi Lake, China. Journal of Fish Biology, 58(6):1714-1729
Yan YZ, Chen YF, 2007. Changes in the life history of Abbottina rivularis in Lake Fuxian. Journal of Fish Biology, 70:959-964
Yang JX, 1996. The Alien and Indigenous Fishes of Yunnan: A Study on Impact Ways, Degrees and Relevant Issues. In: Conserving China's Biodiversity (II) [ed. by Schei, P. J. \Sung, W. \Yan, X.]. Beijing, China: China Environmental Science Press, 157-168
ContributorsTop of page
01/08/11 Original text by:
Ernest Khurshut, Institute of Zoology, Uzbek Academy of Sciences, 1 Niyazov St., Tashkent 100095, Uzbekistan
Reviewers' names are available on request.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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