Predation by Gambusia holbrooki Girard, 1859 (Plague Minnow or Mosquito Fish) - profile

Scientific name: Predation by Gambusia holbrooki Girard, 1859 (Plague Minnow or Mosquito Fish)
Conservation status in NSW: Key Threatening Process
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 29 Jan 1999
Profile last updated: 19 Aug 2017


Predation by Gambusia holbrooki (Plague Minnow) was listed as a KEY THREATENING PROCESS on Schedule 3 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 [29 January 1999].

Gambusia holbrooki Girard (Plague Minnow, also known as Mosquito Fish), is a small freshwater fish originally introduced into Australia in the 1920s. The fish was imported as an aquarium fish but some were released into creeks around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Gambusia holbrooki is now widespread in NSW and is an aggressive and voracious predator of native fauna, particularly threatened frogs. There are also potential effects of predation by the plague minnow on non-threatened frog species, freshwater fishes and other aquatic organisms such as macro-invertebrates.

Presence of Gambusia holbrooki has been linked to the decline of the Green and Golden Bell Frog, the New England Bell Frog, Southern Bell Frog, and the Southern Tablelands Bell Frog. Breeding by the Green and Golden Bell Frog is almost completely restricted to water bodies lacking Gambusia holbrooki.

Recovery strategies

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region