Plague minnows (Gambusia holbrooki) were introduced into Australia in 1925 to control mosquitoes (although they proved ineffective at this). Since then, they have become widespread in the waterways of south-eastern Australia. They are also found in the coastal drainages of Queensland, some parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
These introduced fish can reproduce rapidly, disperse widely and occupy diverse habitats. They have a variety of impacts on native environments, including:
- eating frogspawn and attacking the tadpoles of native frogs
- preying on aquatic macroinvertebrates
- attacking, injuring and preying on native fish
- competing with native animals for food.
Plague minnows should never be released into our waterways.
Page last updated: 03 November 2011