German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

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Vermiculated sailfin catfish

Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus

Common name:

Vermiculated sailfin catfish

Scientific name:

Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus

Alternative common names:

Liposarcus disjunctivus.

The vermiculated sailfin catfish has rows of armour plating covering its body; the abdomen is almost completely covered in small plates. Colour pattern is generally dark brown with either darker spots or lighter spots (or vermiculations). The adult size can range from about 50–70cm. Environmental impacts of vermiculated sailfin catfish are not fully understood, but in locations where they are introduced and abundant, their feeding behaviours and burrowing activities can cause considerable disturbance.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay River basins.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1b.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    KwaZulu-Natal.

    How does it spread?

    On escape from captivity, this fish established first in the Mhlathuze River and then spread to the Nseleni River via an inter-basin water transfer in KwaZulu-Natal.

    Why is it a problem?

    It destabilises the environment by digging out river banks to create burrows, leading to an increased rate of erosion.

    What does it look like?

    Description: The vermiculated sailfin catfish has rows of armour plating covering the body; the abdomen is almost completely covered in small plates. Colour pattern is generally dark brown with either darker spots or lighter spots (or vermiculations). Habitat: Freshwater in sluggish streams, floodplain lakes and marshes. Breeding: Males excavate tunnels into mud banks where eggs are laid. Female lays about 2,000 eggs in shoreline burrows, holes generally between April and September; nests guarded until eggs hatch.

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…

26-02-2019

This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training

22-01-2019

During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group

04-09-2018

Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?

01-03-2018

On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released

28-02-2018

Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised

25-01-2018

The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more