Brown bullhead Ameiurus nebulosus — new fish species for Russia

  • Igor Popov Department for Applied Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab., 7–9, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation
  • Anna Kotova Pediatric polyclinic No 68 (SPb GBUZ DGP 68), ul. Peredovikov, 21, Saint Petersburg, 195426, Russian Federation


The native habitat of the brown bullhead Ameiurus nebulosus is located in the eastern part of North America. This species was introduced in Europe, Southwestern Asia and New Zealand. It was supposed that it entered Russia from the southwest and now inhabits some water bodies at the border with Ukraine and Belarus. Information about bullheads in Russia was searched for in scientific editions and angler’s blogs. Anglers’ reports have been verified by survey and fishing. It turned out that brown bullheads did in fact appear in Russia, but not where they were expected: they were found by the city of Saint Petersburg on the Karelian Isthmus, i.e., on the territory between Lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea. They inhabit at least three lakes. This invasion resulted from release by unauthorized individuals. The revealed habitats are linked by brooks with the river systems of the Baltic Sea Basin. The following spread of the brown bullhead is possible due to intentional releases and natural processes.


brown bullhead, Ameiurus nebulosus, introduction, unauthorized individuals, Saint Petersburg, Russia


Download data is not yet available.


Barnes, G. E. and Hicks, B. J. 2003. Brown bullhead catfish (Ameiurus nebulosus) in Lake Taupo; pp. 27–35 in Managing invasive freshwater fish in New Zealand. Proceedings of a workshop hosted by Department of conservation, 10–12 May 2001, Hamilton. Wellington. New Zeland Department of Conservation.

Biological invasions in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. 2004. KMK Scientific Press Ltd, Moscow. (In Russian)

Bogutskaya, N. G. and Naseka, A. M. 2004. Catalogue of agnathans and fishes of fresh and brackish waters of Russia with comments on nomenclature and taxonomy. KMK Scientific Press Ltd, Moscow. (In Russian)

Club of anglers of Saint Petersburg city. (In Russian)

Collier, K. J., Leathwick, J. R., and Rowe, D. K. 2017. Assessing vulnerability of New Zealand lakes to loss of conservation value from invasive fish impacts. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 27(2):534–546.

Dedual, M. 2002. Vertical distribution and movements of brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus Lesueur 1819) in Motuoapa Bay, southern Lake Taupo, New Zealand. Hydrobiologia 483:129–135.

Dmitriev, M. 1971. Be careful, Chinese sleeper. Rubovodstvo i rybolovstvo 1:26–26. (In Russian)

Dubinina, V. G., Alekseev, A. P., Ananyev, V. I., Gorelov, V. K., Esipova, M. A., Naumova, A. M., Smelova, I. V., Pshenichny, B. P., Shevchenko, V. V., Ersler, A. L., and Manokhina, M. C. 2017. Interdepartmental ichthyological commission: history, activities, results and its destruction. Ecosystemy: ecologia i dynamica 1(4):101–171. (In Russian)

Federal law “About fisheries and conservation of aquatic biological resources” No 166-FZ, 20.12.2004. (In Russian)

Ferraris, C. J., Jr. 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1–628.

Fishing in Northwest Russia. (In Russian)

Information Searching System “Vertebrates of Russia”. (In Russian)

IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) Global Invasive Species Database.

Ivlev, S. V. and Protasov, A. A. 1948. American catfish in the lakes of the Volynskaya oblast. Priroda 8:67–68. (In Russian)

Kapusta, A., Morzuch, J., Partyka, K., and Bogacka-Kapusta, E. 2010. First record of brown bullhead, Ameiurus nebulosus (Lesueur), in the Јyna River drainage basin (northeast Poland). Fisheries & Aquatic Life 18(4):261–265.

Kudersky, L. A. 2001. Fish acclimatization in water bodies of Russia: State and course development. Problems of Fisheries 1(5):6–85. (In Russian)

Lee, D. S., Gilbert, C. R., Hocutt, C. H., Jenkins, R. E., McAllister, D. E., and Stauffer, J. R., Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Litvinov, A. Catch of the American catfish at the Saint Petersburg city. (In Russian)

Makushok, M. E. 1951. Dwarf catfish, its economic significance and particularities of biology. AN BSSR, Minsk. (In Russian)

NatureServe. 2013. Ameiurus nebulosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T202676A2746713.

Northwest Russian club of fishing. (In Russian)

Old Beloostrov. (In Russian)

Page, L. M. and Burr, B. M. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Poliakov, A. D. and Buzmakov, G. T. 2008. Biology of Chinese sleeper in the water bodies of Kuzbass. Sovremennye naukoyomkiye tekhnologii 5:78–80. (In Russian)

Popov, I. 2014. New fish species in the Russian part of the Gulf of Finland and inland water bodies of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast. Russian Journal of Biological Invasions 5(2):90–98.

Popov, I. 2016. Role of the Russian section of the Gulf of Finland and its basin in the ecosystems of the Baltic Sea; pp. 1–22 in Baltic and Black Sea: Ecological Perspectives, Biodiversity and Management. Nova Science Publishers. New York.

Popov, I. 2017. Overfishing in the Baltic Sea basin in Russia, its impact on the pearl mussel, and possibilities for the conservation of riverine ecosystems in conditions of high anthropogenic pressure. Biology Bulletin 44:39–44.

Pupina, A. and Pupins, M. 2012. Invasive fish Percottus glenii in biotopes of Bombina in Latvia on the north edge of the fire-belled toad's distribution. Acta Biologica Universitatis Daugavpiliensis Suppl. 3:82–90.

Reshetnikov, A. N. 2003. The introduced fish, rotan (Perccottus glenii), depresses populations of aquatic animals (macroinvertebrates, amphibians, and a fish). Hydrobiologia 510:83–90.

Reshetnikov, A. N. and Manteifel, Y. B. 1997. Newt-fish interactions in Moscow Province: a new predatory fish colonizer, Perccottus glenii, transforms metapopulations of newts, Triturus vulgaris and T. cristatus. Advances in Amphibian Research in the Former Soviet Union 2:1–12.

Rizevsky, V. K. 2016. Ameiurus nebulosus (Le Sueur, 1819); pp. 36–38 in Black book of the invasive animal species of Belarus. Belaruskaya navuka, Minsk.

Russian Science Citation Index. (In Russian)

Saint Petersburg Fishing Club. (In Russian)

Zhukov, P. I. 1965. Fishes of Belarus. Nauka i tekhnika, Minsk. (In Russian)

How to Cite
Popov, I., & Kotova, A. (2020). Brown bullhead <em>Ameiurus nebulosus</em&gt; — new fish species for Russia. Biological Communications, 65(3), 238–243.
Full communications

Most read articles by the same author(s)