Suckermouth Catfish

Hypostomus sp. – watawata group (Suckermouth Catfish)

  • Photo courtesy of DAR

    Description: Body is covered with armored plates with a suckermouth that enables fish to anchor to the substrate and graze on submerged objects.
  • Native Range: South America.
  • Introduction: Likely introduced by aquarium release in the 1980s-1990s. Found in streams throughout O‘ahu, including Kalihi, Mānoa, Wiawa, lower Kalihi, lower Kamooalii (Kāne‘ohe), lower Kawa, and lowest Nuuanu Streams. Also found in Maui in Kanaha Pond.
  • Ecology and Behavior: Burrows into substrate to create holes in which to lay eggs.
  • Impacts: Known to degrade habitats by digging holes in reservoir and stream banks, which causes erosion and increases silt in streams. Competes for space and resources with native stream species.

Reference: Matthew Neilson. 2017. Hypostomus sp. (watwata group). USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Revision Date: 10/22/2013