Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus (rosy bitterling)
- 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
- Natural enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Threatened Species
- Social Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Detection and Inspection
- 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
- Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus (Kner, 1866)
Preferred Common Name
- rosy bitterling
Other Scientific Names
- Pseudoperilampus ocellatus Kner, 1866
- Rhodeus hwanghoensis Mori, 1928
- Rhodeus maculatus Fowler, 1910
- Rhodeus notatus Nichols, 1929
- Rhodeus ocellatus (Kner, 1866)
- Rhodeus pingi Miao, 1934
- Rhodeus wangkinfui Wu, 1930
International Common Names
- English: rose bitterling
- Russian: glazchatyi gorchak
Local Common Names
- China: gao ti páng pi
- Germany: Hongkong-Bitterling
- Japan: baratanago; tairiku-baratanago
- Netherlands: Chinese bittervoorntje
- Uzbekistan: achchiq baliq
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus is considered a pest in fish farms and a competitor of juveniles of commercial species. It also acts as a vector for bivalve larvae.
Chinese rosy bitterling (R. o. ocellatus) may hybridize with the native subspecies, the Japanese rosy bitterling (R. o. kurumeus), which is endemic to the creeks and small rivers of western Japan. In 1991, R. o. kurumeus was designated as critically endangered by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment (Sato et al., 2010). R. o. ocellatus is listed as one of Japan's 100 worst invasive alien species (http://www.nies.go.jp/biodiversity/invasive/index_en.html).
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Cypriniformes
- Family: Cyprinidae
- Genus: Rhodeus
- Species: Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus
DescriptionTop of page
R. o. ocellatus is a small fish with a very deep, laterally compressed body. The female has an ovipositor which elongates in the spawning period. In the breeding season the male is brightly coloured and covered with tubercles. Female and juvenile bitterlings have a black blotch on the anterior part of dorsal fin. Pharyngeal teeth in 1 row. Lateral line is incomplete, 3-11 pored scales. In Uzbekistan: D II-III 9-12, A II-III 9-12 (Makeeva and Shubnikova, 1978).
DistributionTop of page
R. o. ocellatus was introduced in mainland China and other Far East countries. It is distributed from Beijing in the north, through China (including Hong Kong), west Korea and Japan to north Vietnam. It was also unintentionally introduced in the Aral Sea Basin and Fiji (Welcomme, 1988).
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||Introduced||Berg, 1949; Welcomme, 1988; Kawamura et al., 2001; Froese and Pauly, 2004||Yangtze Basin (/Jinsha River basin, Chuanjiang, Minjiang River basin, Tuojiang River basin, Jialing River basin, Wujiang River basin, Daning River, Xiangxi River), Heilong (/Amur) Basin|
|-Anhui||Present||Introduced||Kawamura et al., 2001||Yangtze and Xin rivers|
|-Fujian||Present||Introduced||Kawamura et al., 2001||Mulan and Min rivers|
|-Guangdong||Present||Introduced||Ye, 1991||Xi Jiang (/Pearl) River|
|-Heilongjiang||Present||Introduced||Kawamura et al., 2001||Heilong (/Amur) and Songhua (/Sungari) rivers|
|-Jiangxi||Present||Introduced||Kawamura et al., 2001||Yangtze and Xin rivers|
|-Shanghai||Present||Introduced||Kawamura et al., 2001||Yangtze drainage|
|-Yunnan||Widespread||Introduced||1965||Invasive||Junxing, 1996||Most lakes and rivers|
|Japan||Widespread||Introduced||1942||Invasive||Kawamura et al., 2001; Froese and Pauly, 2004; Sato et al., 2010||R. o. kurumeus is an endemic in Japan. R. o. ocellatus is considered to have been introduced accidentally from mainland China into Japan, contaminated in the seedlings of Asian carps|
|Kazakhstan||Widespread||Introduced||1958||Invasive||Mitrofanov, 1967; Mitrofanov et al., 1992; Savvaitova and Petr, 1999; Mamilov Sh, 2011||First introduced into Baliqchi Fish Farm, Uzbekistan. Syr Darya drainage|
|Korea, Republic of||Present||Introduced||Kawamura et al., 2001; Froese and Pauly, 2004|
|Taiwan||Present||Native||Welcomme, 1988; Froese and Pauly, 2004|
|Turkmenistan||Localised||Introduced||Invasive||Sal'nikov and Shkeda, 1990; Sal'nikov, 1998||Amu Darya Basin, Sariqamish Lake|
|Uzbekistan||Present||Introduced||Makeeva, 1974; Pavlovskaya and Sal'nikov, 1990; Froese and Pauly, 2004|
|Vietnam||Present||Introduced||GBIF, 2011||Con Cuong district, Chau Khe region|
|Germany||Present||Introduced||Geiter et al., 2002; Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007||Not established|
|Russian Federation||Present||Native||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|-Russian Far East||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Bogutskaya et al., 2004||Amur drainage|
|Fiji||Present||Introduced||Welcomme, 1988; Froese and Pauly, 2004|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
In ancient times R. o. ocellatus was introduced into eastern China. From China it was introduced into the Korean Peninsula and Japan as an ornamental species. For a long time those counties were considered part of its native range (Welcomme, 1988). However, in Japan one of the subspecies, R. o. kurumeus (/smithii), is regarded as an indigenous endemic whereas another subspecies, R. o. ocellatus, is considered to have been introduced accidentally from mainland China, as contamination of seedlings of Asian carp in 1942 (Chiba et al., 1989; Kimura and Nagata, 1992; Kawamura et al., 2001; Sato et al., 2010).
In Central Asia R. o. ocellatus was unintentionally introduced along with Asian carp from the Yangtze River. It was first released into the Karametniyaz fish farm and the Kara-Kum Canal, Turkmenistan in 1958-1961. Then in 1961 it was introduced (again with larvae of Asian carp) to Uzbekistan into the Akkurgan (later Baliqchi) fish farm, in the Tashkent region.
IntroductionsTop of page
|Introduced to||Introduced from||Year||Reason||Introduced by||Established in wild through||References||Notes|
|Natural reproduction||Continuous restocking|
|China||Taiwan||Ornamental purposes (pathway cause)||Yes||No|
|Japan||China||Ornamental purposes (pathway cause)||Yes||No|
|Japan||China||1942||Yes||No||Unintentional (along with Asian carp)|
|Korea, DPR||China||Ornamental purposes (pathway cause)||Yes||No|
|Turkmenistan||China||1958-61||Yes||No||Sal'nikov (1998); Sal'nikov and Reshetnikov (1991)||Unintended (along with Asian carps) Karametniyaz fish farm (55 km W from Kerki, Amu Darya river)|
|Uzbekistan||China||1961||Yes||No||Unintended (along with Asian carp) Karametniyaz Fish farm (55 km W from Kerki, Amu Darya river)|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
The main pathway is transfer of fish seed between fish farms. R. o. ocellatus escapes from fishponds and spreads in wild via irrigation canals. To prevent spread of this species all transported fish seed should be properly checked for the presence of R. o. ocellatus before release in ponds.
Fish fry can be transferred within bivalves and R. o. ocellatus, in turn, can be a vector for bivalves as mussels use bitterlings as hosts for their larvae (glochidia).
Another pathway of introduction is releasing by aquarium hobbyists.
HabitatTop of page
R. o. ocellatus is a lentic species found in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, canals, and marshes, preferring lakes and the stagnant parts of rivers. It keeps to the water surface in stagnant waters.
Habitat ListTop of page
|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)|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
The chromosome number of R. o. ocellatus is 2n = 48, NF = 76 (Vasil'ev, 1980).
Chinese rosy bitterling (R. o. ocellatus) hybridize with the native subspecies, the Japanese rosy bitterling (R. o. kurumeus), which is endemic to creeks and small rivers in western Japan (Sato et al., 2010).
A molecular analyses of mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites of 13 populations of R. ocellatus in Japan is described in Miyake et al. (2007).
The complete mitochondrial genome of R. ocellatus was determined to be 16,761 bp (Hu et al., 2016).
Females mature at 24 mm SL. The breeding season extends from the middle of March to the middle of September in Japan. Spawning is fractional. The average individual fecundity is 17-69 eggs. R. o. ocellatus lays eggs inside bivalves. The larvae remain in the mantle cavity until they can swim (Asahina et al., 1980; Gultneh et al., 1984).
The longevity of R. o. ocellatus is 3-4 years.
Population Size and Density
Abundance in the Shin Tone River, Japan, is estimated at 13,000-35,300 fish along a 36 m river shoreline (Gultneh et al., 1982).
In the Shin Tone River, Japan, the diet of R. o. ocellatus consists mostly on diatoms, with a smaller proportion of crustaceans and green algae (Gultneh et al., 1985):
Natural Food Sources
Contribution to total food intake (%)
Shin tone River, Japan
R. o. ocellatus, as with other bitterlings, have a reproductive symbiosis with bivalves. The female lays its eggs inside the mantle cavity of the mussel. The mollusc, in turn, uses the bitterlings for the distribution of its own larvae (glochidias).
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|
|Water pH (pH)||7||Optimum||(Baensch and Fischer, 1998)|
|Water temperature (ºC temperature)||18||24||Optimum||(Baensch and Fischer, 1998)|
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Centrocestus armatus||Parasite||not specific|
|Centrocestus taiwanense||Parasite||not specific|
|Clinostomum complanatum||Parasite||not specific|
|Clonorchis sinensis||Parasite||not specific|
|Dactylogyrus chongqingensis||Parasite||not specific|
|Dactylogyrus oblongus||Parasite||not specific|
|Dactylogyrus rhodeusi||Parasite||not specific|
|Echinochasmus fujianensis||Parasite||not specific|
|Echinochasmus japonicus||Parasite||not specific|
|Exorchis oviformis||Parasite||not specific|
|Haplorchis pumilio||Parasite||not specific|
|Liolope copulans||Parasite||not specific|
|Metagonimus yokogawai||Parasite||not specific|
|Stamnosoma armatum||Parasite||not specific|
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Vector Transmission (Biotic)
Eggs and fry of R. o. ocellatus can be transferred within mussels in which they are developing.
The main pathway for R. o. ocellatus is the transfer of fish seed between fish farms. Bitterlings then escape from fishponds into the wild.
Outside of its native area R. o. ocellatus has been introduced as an ornamental species. This species is easy to keep in captivity, and this along with the bright colours of males and unusual reproduction behaviour, make it an attractive fish for aquarium culture.
Impact SummaryTop of page
Economic ImpactTop of page
R. o. ocellatus is considered as a pest in fish farms and competitor of juveniles of commercial species. It has been reported from fish farms and reservoirs that it feed on their eggs and fry of other fish.
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page
In Japan, R. o. ocellatus endangers the native subspecies R. o. kurumeus (Ismithii) by ecological pressures and hybridization. The latter is now on the brink of extinction as a distinct subspecies (Kimura and Nagata, 1992; Kawamura et al., 2001; Sato et al., 2010).
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
|Threatened Species||Conservation Status||Where Threatened||Mechanism||References||Notes|
|Rhodeus ocellatus kurumeus||EN (IUCN red list: Endangered) EN (IUCN red list: Endangered)||Japan||Hybridization||Kawamura et al., 2001; Kimura and Nagata, 1992; Sato et al., 2010|
|Rhodeus smithii (Nippon Baratanago)||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered)||Japan||Hybridization||IUCN, 2010|
Social ImpactTop of page
Mollusc shells, transferred with R. o. ocellatus, become traumatic agents in water bodies.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Invasive in its native range
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Has a broad native range
- Abundant in its native range
- Changed gene pool/ selective loss of genotypes
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Modification of hydrology
- Modification of natural benthic communities
- Negatively impacts aquaculture/fisheries
- Pest and disease transmission
- Interaction with other invasive species
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult to identify/detect in the field
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page
R. o. ocellatus can be cultured as ornamental fish.
DiagnosisTop of page
Chinese rosy bitterling (R. o. ocellatus) and Japanese rosy bitterling (R. o. kurumeus) are morphologically very similar (more on the morphological characters can be found in the Detection and Inspection text section). They can be distinguished by RFLP analysis of mtDNA and RAPD-PCR analysis of genomic DNA (Kawamura et al., 2001).
Detection and InspectionTop of page
R. o. ocellatus is easily distinguishable from the native species by the strong spine in the dorsal fin, the elongate anal fin and the curved lateral line, which goes downward behind the head and then parallels the lower body margin, at the anal fin it curves upward and extends along the middle part of the caudal peduncle.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
R. o. ocellatus can be confused with the other Rhodeus species e.g. R. sericeus.R. o. ocellatus is distinguished from R. sericeus by larger dorsal and anal fins (Makeeva and Shubnikova, 1978). R. o. ocellatus is distinguished from R. amarus by having 10-12.5 branched dorsal rays (vs. 9.5, 10.5 in R. amarus); females and juveniles have a black blotch in the anterior part of dorsal fin (vs. no blotch) (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007).
Japanese rosy bitterling (R. o. kurumeus) and Chinese rosy bitterling (R. o. ocellatus) are morphologically very similar. R. o. ocellatus primarily differs from R. o. kurumeus by the presence of white colouration along the anterior margin of the pelvic fins (Kawamura et al., 2001).
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 R. o. ocellatus before release into ponds. The keeping and release of rosy bitterling is regulated in Shiga and Saga Prefectures in Japan (http://www.nies.go.jp/biodiversity/invasive/index_en.html).
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
Data on environmental requirements of R. o. ocellatus and its interaction with native species are insufficient.
ReferencesTop of page
Asahina K, Iwashita I, Hanyu I, 1980. Annual reproductive cycle of a bitterling Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus. Bull. Jap. Soc. Sci. Fish, 46(3):299-305
Baensch HA, Fischer GW, 1998. Aquarien Atlas., Germany: Mergus
Berg LS, 1949. Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries. Moscow, Russia: USSR Academy of Sciences
Bogutskaya NG, Naseka AM, 2004. Catalogue of agnathans and fishes of fresh and brackish waters of Russia with comments on nomenclature and taxonomy. Moscow, Russia: KMK Scientific Press Ltd., 389 pp
Chiba K, Taki Y Sakai K, Oozeki Y, 1989. Present status of aquatic organisms introduced into Japan. In: De Silva SS, ed., Exotic aquatic organisms in Asia, Proceedings of the Workshop on Introduction of Exotic Aquatic Organisms in Asia, p 63-70, Asian Fish Soc. Spec. Publ. 3,. Manila, Philippines: Asian Fish Society
Froese R, Pauly D, 2004. FishBase DVD. Penang, Malaysia: Worldfish Center. Online at www.fishbase.org
Geiter O, Homma S, Kinzelbach R, 2002. [English title not available]. (Bestandsaufnahme und Bewertung von Neozoen in Deutschland.) Texte des Umweltbundesamtes, 25. 174 +36 +31 +52 S
Gultneh S, Katsumi M, Shimizu M, Nose Y, 1982. The fluctuation and distrsbution of the population density and fish movement of Rose bitterling in Shin Tone River. Bull. Jap. Soc. Sci. Fish, 48(1):1-9
Gultneh S, Katsumi M, Shimizu M, Nose Y, 1984. The reproduction and condition factor of Rose bitterling in Shin Tone River. Bull. Jap. Soc. Sci. Fish, 50(7):1095-1103
Gultneh S, Shimizu M, Yukio N, 1985. The feeding habits of rose bitterling in the Shin Tone river. Bull. Jap. Soc. Sci. Fish., 51 (5): 711-716
Hu Juan, Chen YiBin, Zhao HuiHong, Yang HuiRong, Liu Li, 2016. Complete mitochondrial genome of Rhodeus ocellatus (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). Mitochondrial DNA Part A, 27(5), 3489-3490. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/19401736.2015.1066362
IUCN, 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. http://www.iucnredlist.org
Junxing Y, 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
Kawamura K, Ueda T, Arai R, Nagata Y, Saitoh K, Ohtaka H, Kanoh Y, 2001. Genetic introgression by the rose bitterling, Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus, into the Japanese rose bitterling, R. o. kurumeus (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Zoological Science, 18(7):1027-1039
Kimura S, Nagata Y, 1992. Scientific name of Nipponbaratanago, Japanese bitterling of the genus Rhodeus. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 38:425-429
Makeeva AP, 1974. Finding in water bodies of Central Asia bitterling Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus (Kner) and characteristic its development. Biological Basis of Fisheries in Central Asian republics and Kazakhstan. Ashgabat, Ylym, Turkmenistan 56-57
Makeeva AP, Shubnikova NO, 1978. Rhodeus ocellatus (Kner), a new for the USSR species of the bitterling. Zoological Journal, 57(1):94-99
Mamilov Sh N, 2011. Modern diversity of alien fish species in Chu and Talas river basins. Russian Journal of Biological Invasions, 4(1):65-76
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, Sidorova AF, 1992. Fishes of Kazakhstan. Vol. 5. Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan: Gylym
Miyake T, Kawamura K, Hosoya K, Okazaki T, Kitogawa T, 2007. Discovery of the Japanese rosy bitterling, Rhodeus ocellatus kurumeus, in Nara prefecture. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 54(2):139-148
Pavlovskaya LP, Sal'nikov VB, 1990. Features of the formation and development of fish community in reservoir storages of drainage water (Sarykamysh lake case study). Hydrobiological Journal, 26(1):39-47
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
Sal'nikov VB, Shkeda AM, 1990. Pseudoperilampus (Rhodeus) ocellatus Kner, 1867 (Cyprinidae family) - a new species of ichthyofauna of water bodies of Turkmenistan. Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the Turkmen SSR (Biological Sciences Series), 6:63-66
Sato M, Kawaguchi Y, Nakajima J, Mukai T, Shimatani Y, Onikura N, 2010. A review of the research on introduced freshwater fishes: new perspectives, the need for research, and management implications. Landscape Ecology, 6:99-108
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.]
Vasil'ev VP, 1980. Chromosome numbers in fish-like vertebrates and fish. J. Ichthyol, 20(3):1-38
Ye F, 1991. Acheilognathinae. In: The freshwater fishes of Guangdong Province [ed. by Pan, J. -. H.]. Guangzhou, China: Guangdong Science and Technology Press, 123-136
ContributorsTop of page
16/10/16 Updated by:
Ernest Khurshut, Institute of Zoology, Uzbek Academy of Sciences, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
31/08/11 Original text by:
Ernest Khurshut, Institute of Zoology, Uzbek Academy of Sciences, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Distribution MapsTop of page
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