Re: NANFA-- snakeheads

John Bongiovanni (
Tue, 16 Jul 2002 22:12:25 -0500

We are reading now that native species are now preying on zebra mussles.
It may have taken a few years for native populations to realize that
the zebra mussle is a potential food source. Its likely that population
control in China (for the fish not the chinese) would be predation upon
the fry thus not requiring a "bigger, meaner fish. There are likely
several species that have developed a "taste" for the young thus
controlling the population in China. In North American waters natives
may have not yet recognized the eggs/fry as potential food items and
thus the snakehead looses its source of population control.

A good indicator of this is that when they electroshocked the pond many
(hundreds?) of juveniles were found. There obviously was nothing
preying on they young. Is this due to some sort of brooding behavior?
or lack of predators on the young and eggs. You don't always have to
have a bigger, meaner fish to control the population. Even insects and
larvae can predate on the eggs and fry.

Just a thought.

John wrote:

>I guess I have to ask, isn't the viscousness of these fish mostly hype? I
>mean you would think that great white sharks spend time worrying about
>meeting up with a snake head. Aren't they pretty much like a bowfin? It seems
>unlikely that snakeheads are the meanest fish on the planet, I'm sure
>alligator gars might be a contender for the crown. While I wouldn't want
>snakeheads to escape into the ecosystem of Maryland I am sure there are fish
>that would and could eat a snakehead. It seems to me like maybe we need to
>regroup and tell it like it is instead of trying to terrify everyone about
>this fish. Eventually crying wolf might result in all tropical fish being
>illegal regardless of their true nature. (When I say we I don't mean NANFA
>but aquarium hobbyists in general) I know it cool to be able to tell your
>date that if she (or he) would come home with you, you would show her (or
>him) the most dangerous fish on earth....
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