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Nesting Burrows and Behavior of Nonnative Catfishes (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) in the Usumacinta-Grijalva Watershed, Mexico

Lienart, Govinda-Das H., Rodiles-Hernández, Rocío, Capps, Krista A.
The Southwestern naturalist 2013 v.58 no.2 pp. 238-243
Pterygoplichthys, burrows, catfish, clay soils, floodplains, freshwater ecosystems, indigenous species, introduced species, invasive species, nesting, rivers, roots, surveys, topographic slope, watersheds, wetlands, zoogeography, Mexico
Several species of Pterygoplichthys (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) have been introduced around the world and are now invasive outside of their native range. In southern Mexico, Pterygoplichthys is quickly spreading and has become one of the dominant groups of fishes in many freshwater ecosystems. We describe the density and physical characteristics of large nesting burrows constructed in riverbanks and wetlands by nonnative Pterygoplichthys. Our study was conducted in the floodplains of the Chacamax River, one of the principal tributaries of the Usumacinta-Grijalva watershed. Burrows ranged from 30–140 cm in depth, 9–34 cm in width, and 4–26 cm in height. We counted an average of 1,573 burrows/km of waterway in a 14-km survey of the banks of the Chacamax River. Loricariids preferred to nest in banks with steep slopes, clay soils, and low coverage by roots.