The oscar, Astronotus ocellatus (Agassiz, 1831) (Cichlidae): a deliberate aquarium trade introduction in the Euphrates River, Iraq


The first record of a single specimen of oscar, Astronotus ocellatus, native to Amazon basin of Peru, Colombia and Brazil, is reported from the inland waters of Iraq. The specimen was caught from one of the branches of the Euphrates River to the east of the Barnun city, ca. 5 km to the NW of Hilla city in Babylon Province in central Iraq in December 2021 using rod and line. The capture of a sub-adult specimen, 186.7 mm in total length, indicates the first record of another aquarium fish species in the freshwater system of Iraq. The aquarium trade pathway is the suspected factor for the presence of this species in the Iraqi freshwater area.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i15910725v44p41

Keywords: biodiversity; new locality; new occurrence; aquarium trade; non-Indigenous Species

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